Symantec has announced the launch of a security suite that aims to bolster the defences of Internet of Things (IoT) devices while protecting against cyber attacks and zero-day exploits.
The security firm claimed that the suite will secure more than one billion IoT devices with a new Embedded Security: Critical System Protection (ESCSP) feature. The company is also investing in ways to protect the growing IoT market with authentication, security and analytical options.
ESCSP provides firewall, device and configuration control, file integrity monitoring, intrusion detection, operating system hardening, application whitelisting and sandboxing, according to Symantec.
Symantec is also partnering with Texas Instruments and security software firm wolfSSL to "embed security at the hardware level" and create an IoT Roots of Trust safety and encryption certificate.
Early adopters of the new IoT suite include Wincor Nixdorf, which implements new technology into banks, and wolfSSL, which helps to secure connections between online devices.
Larry Stefonic, founder and chief executive of wolfSSL, highlighted a number of IoT problems, including man-in-the-middle attacks, insecure firmware updates and encrypting data on the device.
Sian John, chief security strategist for EMEA at Symantec, told V3 that as the IoT becomes a part of everyday life ensuring it was secure and safe to use was vital.
"There's no question that the IoT has the potential to change and improve our lives. Data is already starting to radically alter some business sectors, enabling us to work more intelligently. With more devices being connected to the internet every day, they are fast becoming a magnet for hackers," she said.
"The danger is that, like every other technological evolution, we are installing it first and then thinking about how to secure it afterwards. We need to start thinking about security first. Symantec is educating and helping its customers to ensure their users remain safe no matter what device they're using."
Symantec released a report earlier this year outlining the potential weaknesses of the IoT including poor authentication and traffic encryption.
"Despite its increasing acceptance by consumers, recent studies of IoT devices seem to agree that security is not a word that gets associated with this category of devices, leaving consumers potentially exposed," stated the report.
"Despite an almost constant stream of media reports of cyber attacks and hacking incidents, there are still many devices that do not use encrypted communications or proper authentication. It is crucial that smart home devices, or any IoT devices for that matter, use mutual authentication and encryption."
Meanwhile, the UK government is firmly backing IoT development, and has launched a smart city project with a £10m prize to encourage projects that benefit citizens and public services.
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