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How Does Embedded Security Protect Devices and Systems from Cyber Threats?

icon Posted by: Praveen Joshi
icon June 7, 2023

In Brief

What is Embedded Systems Security?

The security of computing systems that are integrated into diverse devices and settings is referred to as embedded systems security. These systems are made to carry out specific tasks. These tasks may include managing machinery, keeping an eye on sensors, or gathering and transferring data. Automotive, medical, industrial control, and smart home applications are a few domains that use embedded systems. Protecting these systems from unauthorized access, data breaches, and malicious assaults is the main goal of embedded systems security. It entails putting safeguards in place to guarantee the privacy, accuracy, and accessibility of the embedded system and its data. Overall, the goal of embedded systems security is to safeguard these specialized computer systems by eliminating security risks and vulnerabilities.


billion is the projected number of embedded devices to be connected worldwide by 2025.


vulnerabilities specifically related to embedded systems have been highlighted by National Vulnerability Database (NVD).


of software vulnerabilities in embedded devices can be eliminated just by following secure coding practices.


of all attacks against businesses are initiated through social engineering.

How Embedded Security Can Secure Your Devices and Systems?

Embedded systems security employs several measures to protect devices and systems from cyber threats. Here are some detailed points explaining how it safeguards your infrastructure:

1. Secure Boot

A boot process is frequently used by embedded devices to load software or firmware. Only authenticated and authorized code is run throughout the boot process thanks to secure boot. It ensures the integrity and validity of the system’s software by preventing harmful or altered programs from running on the system.

2. Code and Data Encryption

Sensitive data that is sent via communication channels or held in embedded systems is protected using encryption techniques. Data is encrypted using encryption methods like AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), which renders it unreadable by unauthorized parties. This guarantees the information’s privacy and confidentiality.

3. Access Control

Access control mechanisms enable embedded systems security to manage user privileges and prevent unauthorized access. User authentication, password guidelines, role-based access control, and other authentication techniques like biometrics or cryptographic keys are part of this. Access control ensures that only people with permission can use the system and interact with it.

4. Secure Communication

Communication between embedded systems and other hardware or networks is common. Secure connections are necessary to ensure safety. That you can establish using protocols like SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security). Embedded security will safeguard data integrity while it is being transmitted. Digital signatures and certificates, two examples of cryptographic procedures, verify the veracity and integrity of communications.

5. Firmware and Software Updates

To fix software or firmware bugs and resolve security risks, regular upgrades are essential. The techniques for receiving and installing updates securely for embedded systems are essential for keeping the system safe.

6. Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems

Embedded systems can leverage Intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) to track and examine network traffic. Plus, it helps to spot irregularities and act in case of a security breach. By spotting malicious activity, unauthorized access attempts, and unusual system behavior, IDPS can alert administrators or take other protective measures.

7. Physical Security Measures

For devices used in uncontrolled environments, physical security is a crucial component of embedded systems security. Tamper-proof hardware, secure enclosures, and devices to thwart unauthorized physical access to the system’s parts or data storage are examples of physical security measures.

8. Secure Development Practices

It is about making sure embedded systems are secure starting from the design phase. You can avoid common vulnerabilities like buffer overflows or injection attacks by using secure coding techniques. Experts recommend measures like input validation, appropriate error handling, and secure memory management. You can improve the overall security of the system by adhering to security principles. Plus, doing code reviews and carrying out thorough testing are also necessary.

9. Risk Assessment and Mitigation

Risk assessments are a necessary part of embedded security because they reveal potential threats and system-specific vulnerabilities. This enables the effective implementation of security controls and countermeasures. These measures are necessary to reduce the risks that have been identified.

10. Ongoing Monitoring and Incident Response

For quickly identifying and responding to security incidents, continuous monitoring of embedded systems is crucial. You can identify potential threats via security logs, network monitoring tools, and intrusion detection systems. Containment, eradication, and recovery procedures are part of an incident response plan.

Before You Go!

  • The above points clearly highlight the significance of embedded cyber security for the protection of your systems and devices.
  • You can get help from an expert cybersecurity service provider if you are still stuck with your embedded security.


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