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Secure or Nothing – Why device security must be front and center

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Any electronic device you're looking to develop that's meant for use by humans must be developed with security in mind – otherwise, you risk embarrassment and dissatisfied customers.

Security should not be an afterthought for IoT and wearable devices. It should be part of the design from the very beginning. It's a constant factor addressed in all project phases, including system design, test, and validation. At the root of the device, security keeps unauthorized users from accessing any personal or confidential information. It is one aspect of a successful project.

Why is security important?

In an increasingly connected world, security is an ongoing challenge for companies, engineers, and end-users. Potential threats include malicious apps, phishing scams, data leakage, spyware, and unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Even worse, unsecured devices can malfunction and put people's lives in danger in the case of medical devices.

Just recently, Voler System's President Walt Maclay's email was hacked, and the culprit was able to access his email settings. The attack kept him from seeing replies from phishing emails, which managed to start sending out emails. The email was clever, and some people did not recognize it as fraudulent. Thankfully, his team quickly detected and fixed the issue, limiting the number of fraudulent emails. To prevent future attacks, he started using a two-factor login authentication. We all need to increase our resistance to cyber threats, as they get more sophisticated every year.

This story is just an example of the thousands of automated and manual cyber-attacks happening throughout the world. Just imagine this happening to a casual user. More often than not, these types of attacks are seen all too late when catastrophic damage is done.

JD Supra wrote that ransomware attacks are predicted to occur every 11 seconds in 2021, with a cost of $20 billion. It is reported that 91 percent of cyber-attacks begin with a spear-phishing email, which is instructive to businesses regarding the importance of educating employees to not rely on email and to be highly vigilant about all email traffic, links and attachments.

Like email accounts, smart IoT devices are extremely vulnerable to attacks.

According to Symantec, Each IoT device suffers from an average of 5,200 cyber-attacks monthly. Attackers are increasingly able to shut down or corrupt the actions of IoT devices that control equipment or interact in some other way with the physical world.

When you consider that a projected 5 million individuals will be remotely monitored by healthcare providers by 2023 using medical wearables, security takes on an even higher level of importance.

Companies looking to build smart IoT devices should take clear, preventative steps to mitigate the risk to avoid a security breach.

Check out this article to learn more about safeguarding the security of data from wearable devices.

The mere fact that a wearable device can collect so much data presents a potential risk of a data breach, especially if the device did not store data properly. And when data travels through wireless networks, it can be hard to keep it safe from malicious third parties that can steal poorly managed data via unsecured data transmission channels.

Thankfully, many security issues around wearables can be addressed by consulting an expert in this field. Voler Systems has three decades of providing R&D consulting and developing wearable devices, IoT devices, medical devices, consumer products, and other specialized sensor-based electronics and prototype circuits.

Contact our team of experts today to learn more about wearable security or consult about your ongoing project!

About Voler

Located in Silicon Valley and with more than 40 years of electronic design experience, Voler Systems continues to be a leading custom product design consulting company providing high-quality electrical engineering and firmware development. Voler Systems ensures delivery of quality products, on time, on budget with low risk. All projects are undertaken with good specifications, the right people, quality design, constant communication, and a smooth transfer to manufacturing.

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