A few years ago, a renowned manufacturer of high-class coffee machines decided to exhibit at the embedded world show. It was the first time a consumer goods company used the show as a platform, and it definitely was high time, since it used to be difficult to obtain good coffee in Nuremberg. However, the smell in the trade fair halls clearly improved and indulging acceptance quickly replaced the general astonishment about the company’s presence.
Soon it became clear why the espresso brewer needed to settle in the embedded industry: Quite a few of their coffee makers with internet connection turned out to be vulnerable. It didn’t need much coding experience to gain access from anywhere in the world. Luckily, the hackers at that time were just having fun turning on the cappuccino foam maker at inconvenient times and grinding coffee beans to a rhythm.
Nevertheless, for IT people in offices using those machines in the kitchen, a nightmare came true: There was a real danger an attacker could enter business networks via the coffee maker.
Since then, we’ve seen many examples of harmless networked devices acting as a gateway to critical systems. While espresso makers are secured today, there are building automation systems, surveillance cameras, children’s toys, refrigerators, radiators, even power plants connected to the internet without state-of-the-art security precautions. The built-in standard passcode “1234” still allows access to countless systems all around the world.
IoT—the “Internet of things” —is the buzzword for one of the main global industry trends encompassing more than networking. Security is one of the main technology challenges in both, communications between systems as well as between individual modules.
Today, designing an embedded system ought to mean designing a secure system. And if you want to develop a secure system, the safest way is to rely on Mouser’s know-how and on Mouser’s incredibly large product portfolio – because you can’t design the future with products from the past!
Join us at embedded world 2017 and find out how Mouser can support your new secure embedded designs! By the way, we even have good coffee on the stand.
As Technical Content Specialist, Marcel is the internal contact person for technical questions in Mouser’s EMEA marketing team. Originally a physicist, he used to work as editor for special-interest magazines in electronics. In real life, he’s juggling two kids with too many chromosomes, a penchant for electronic gadgets and a fondness of books and beer. Until now, none has dropped.
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