Strengthening Wi-Fi security at the hardware level

If you’re an Internet of Things (IoT) designer, you’re probably often challenged to do more with less when it comes to security, constantly looking for new ways to protect your products against an ever-growing list of threats with lean system resources and perhaps limited experience.

Knowing that these struggles are very real, in this post I’ll outline a few top IoT security risks and common misconceptions on how to address them. I will also provide an overview of how new SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi® products give you more tools to help address security challenges through a novel architecture and rich set of integrated security features.

Are there IoT applications that don’t need to implement security measures?

Any device that connects to the internet may be vulnerable to local or remote attacks. Attackers can target almost any connected device to try and steal manufacturer intellectual property stored in the system, gain access to user data, or even maliciously manipulate the system to compromise users or attack third parties online.

As demonstrated by the major distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack late last year, labeled by experts as the largest of its kind in history, even seemingly harmless products such as home digital video recorders (DVRs) can be maliciously infected and used as “botnets” to halt operations for third-party entities. The attack last year affected services such as Twitter and PayPal, but similar attacks could potentially target large smart infrastructure technologies such as electric grid systems. According to a 2016 study conducted by Kapersky Lab, a single DDoS attack can cost an organization more than $1.6 million to resolve.

Recognizing these threats, TI’s SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi® CC3220 wireless microcontroller (MCU) integrates a host of powerful, multilayered and hardware-based security features to provide you with powerful tools to help protect products from attacks such as local or remote packet sniffing, man-in-the-middle (MITM) server emulation, hostile takeovers via over-the-air updates, remote file manipulation, data and software theft, intellectual property (IP) cloning, and many more. Watch the below video to learn more about these tools: