Symantec protects IoT devices against zero-day cyberattacks

The firm's new critical system protection portfolio is specifically designed for Internet of Things devices.


Symantec has launched the Embedded Critical System Protection, a new security solution designed to further protect Internet of Things (IoT) devices worldwide.

Announced on Tuesday, Symantec said the firm is investing in the protection of IoT products used within the connected home, and as part of this effort, is currently securing over one billion IoT devices. The firm's expanded security portfolio, together with the new Embedded Critical System Protection solution, is expected to increase IoT security further within the ecosystem.

IoT devices are on the rise. Smart security systems, thermostats which can be controlled through your smartphone, lighting systems which can be voice-controlled or manipulated through mobile devices -- the list is endless. While these devices can make home life more convenient, the moment you connect a product to a network, you are also forging a path for potential security risks.

See also: The challenges of securing your smart home

According to research firm Gartner, 25 billion connected and networked devices will be in use by the end of 2020. This will prove to be a challenge for both vendors and security companies which are already battling an increase in cyberattacks across all sectors.

As part of Symantec's IoT strategy, the security firm is now offering Embedded Critical System Protection. The security solution protects IoT devices "by locking down the software embedded in the device to protect against zero-day attacks and prevent compromise," according to the company.

There are already enterprise players on board, including Wincor, an IT solution provider well-known in the financial and retail industries.

Shankar Somasundaram, Senior Director of Internet of Things Security at Symantec commented:

"As IoT innovation and adoption continues to grow, so has the opportunity for new cyber security risks. This is the next frontier. In the automotive industry, hackers can literally steer the car and 'hit the brakes' from their keyboards.

Symantec is partnering with manufacturers in the automotive, industrial control, and semiconductor industries, in addition to our work in healthcare and retail markets."

In addition, Symantec is working with chip makers worldwide and cryptography specialists, including Texas Instruments and wolfSSL, to bring security to the hardware level. The company is hoping to develop what Symantec calls the 'Roots of Trust," a cornerstone for IoT devices to safely encrypt and authenticate users. Symantec is also offering code signing certificates and a cloud-based signing-as-a-service to IoT product manufacturers.

In July, Symantec released a whitepaper documenting the growth of cybercriminal group Black Vine, which is believed to be behind the high-profile Anthem breach. According to the company, Black Vine is part of a hacking network which distributes zero-day vulnerabilities for use against high-profile targets.

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