Embedded System Security: Important Steps And Main Issues

By: Segiy Sergienko, 5 Aug 2021
5 minutes

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Embedded system security is one of the types of cyber protection, with the help of which it is possible to prevent illegal access and use of built-in devices. Embedded devices, in turn, are connected to the IoT and are often part of, for example, a car, a medical device, an industrial controller, a printer, a computer, a smartphone, and many other consumer goods.

Only good effective protection of embedded systems can guarantee complete confidentiality and protection against theft. Today’s global companies are doing serious work with embedded systems development teams and are constantly taking security to the next higher level. Thus, they can confidently guarantee the consumer that the embedded system has all the necessary security mechanisms to resist the possible cyber attacks.

Why Do We Need Embedded Systems Security?

Everything is really simple. To do this, you just need to understand what problems a cyberattack can turn into for a company.

The most obvious among them can be:

  • regulatory fines
  • losses due to public outcry
  • damage to the company’s reputation
  • loss of confidential information and other strategically important data
  • massive data breach
  • interruptions in the work of the company
  • missed deadlines
  • the need for an unscheduled analysis of the system and increased level of safety

And of course, if you did manage to quickly solve all the troubles that arose, you should not fully relax just yet. It is well known that the consequences of a cyberattack can arise more than once, even after several years, and they can result in hidden costs.

Embedded system security allows you to solve a variety of company security problems. An unreliable system is unlikely to be able to prevent the disclosure of confidential data and will only create an unnecessary threat to you, of which there are already so many in this world we live in. In addition, there are many cases of hacking into corporate networks through embedded devices such as printers, etc..

Cyberattacks are projected to hit $6 trillion in annual loss in 2021 which has doubled since 2015.

Embedded System Security Challenges

Now let’s look at the main embedded system security challenges that stand in the way of IoT device manufacturers in order to better understand the need for embedded security in devices used by your company.

Third-Party Components

Today, a closed production cycle is not available to all manufacturers of various devices. Each company has its own reasons for this, which, as a rule, are mainly technological and economic in their nature. Therefore, IoT device manufacturers use off-the-shelf components as part of their devices.

From this a quite obvious conclusion follows that these components can carry a potential threat. The likelihood that these components may contain malware or simply be vulnerable to the latter is pretty high. Embedded security allows you to safely detect a potential threat and block or eliminate it right away.

Lack of Standardization

Unfortunately, the area of ​​cyber protection and the IoT industry is very poorly standardized. However, there are some positive shifts there, since so many companies want to play by completely understandable rules and provide consumers with fairly reliable products. Nevertheless, the development of secure devices is still one of the embedded system security challenges. It is difficult for manufacturers to be confident in the safety of the components they purchase. In addition, this area is quite new and there are very few best solutions for the manufacturer to fully understand how correctly they are performing protection itself.

Unmanaged and Unpatched Devices

This is one of the embedded system security challenges that is associated with a device vulnerability. Quite often, IoT device manufacturers deploy devices with minimal control and maintenance. This raises well-founded fears that the device may not be well tuned for being affected by malware. Embedded device security is fully capable of efficiently monitoring and installing all necessary updates in a timely manner.

Insecure Network Connectivity

The rise in popularity of 5G is unstoppable. And this is, of course, a very positive thing. However, it requires devices to be directly connected to mobile networks. Accordingly, protecting the organization’s internal security stack is out of the question. Therefore, it is simply vital to provide embedded security devices and protect them from all kinds of possible attacks in the future.

What Will You Get With a Good Embedded System Security?

Embedded security is the security of IoT devices through the use of firmware. This level of security is very effective and presents a number of advantages for manufacturers that can greatly enhance their position in the market.

Customer Confidence

There’s nothing better for a client than getting absolutely comprehensive answers to all the security questions. Today, the presence of just some super functional qualities of the device is not enough. The issue of cyber protection is gaining more and more relevance. After all, it is directly related not only to the leakage of confidential information, but also to direct and indirect material losses for the company. The clearer and more transparent a manufacturer’s security policy is, the more salable their product will be. 

Competitive Differentiation

Having no cyber protection regulation in the IoT device industry, installing embedded security in your device or component can go a long way towards gaining a competitive edge. This is nothing more than an additional and, at the same time, a very important property of your device that allows you to fully satisfy the consumer. 

Compliance with Upcoming Laws

As noted previously, the implementation and development of laws on the security of IoT devices is not carried out at the proper level yet. Due to the novelty of this topic, many manufacturers are in the status of being pioneers at it. However, those companies that rely on embedded device security are definitely laying the foundation and preferential compliance of their devices with future regulations.

Increased Market Access

The implementation of embedded system security provides not only new opportunities for influencing the market, but also obvious opportunities for expanding it. A fairly large segment of the market is represented, for example, by government companies, where safety requirements are even more stringent and specific.

Device Security Management

One of the main features of the use of IoT devices is the difficulty in effective control and management. However, the ability to effectively manage security can be achieved by accessing the cloud-based security management platform through consistent embedded software. 

Integrated Security

The resources of IoT devices are very limited. The process of deploying traditional cyber protection solutions with subsequent integration into the company’s security system is rather difficult. Providing firmware-level security in embedded devices will simplify monitoring and management, which will help solve the problem for sure.

Embedded Device Security with Sirin Software solutions

We offer you to carry out a step-by-step process of ensuring the security of IoT devices. To begin with, it is very important to determine the cyber protection risks when using the device. Thanks to many years of practice and experience, Sirin Software specialists are able to perform a high-quality IoT security assessment. This allows manufacturers to improve their devices qualitatively by identifying potential vulnerabilities in them.

Further implementation of the hardening process includes the deployment of our firmware, which can effectively provide a high level of security. Using our solutions, you can permanently secure your status as a reliable manufacturer, as well as get a unique opportunity to influence and expand your audience.   


Modern embedded devices and systems are rather complex solutions which help make it possible to perform critical safety functions. The required level of reliability in countering cyber attacks is laid at the earliest stages of the design and development of new devices. Only such a basic approach can provide the desired result. If you want to implement and develop your ideas with minimal risks, in no case should you postpone the implementation of embedded system security.