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Embedded Systems & The Internet of Things (IoT)by@gabrielmanga
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Embedded Systems & The Internet of Things (IoT)

by Gabriel Mangalindan4mJune 27th, 2022
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The Internet-of-Things (IoT) refers to a network of physical objects that use sensors, software, or other technologies to connect, exchange data, and communicate with other devices and systems over the internet. Embedded systems are computer systems that play a specific role within a larger mechanical or electrical system. Examples of embedded systems include GPS systems, central heating, heart rate monitors, and ATMs. These systems make it possible for data to be sent between multiple devices as well transferring data to and from the internet, in turn expanding the capabilities of IoT devices.

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The Internet-of-Things (IoT) refers to a network of physical objects that use sensors, software, or other technologies to connect, exchange data, and communicate with other devices and systems over the internet.

Smartphones are a good example of IoT technology in use, enabling billions of people around the world to connect to the internet and use online services and products.

IoT devices have created a world that is more connected than ever, with smart video doorbells and sleep tracking bracelets to smartphone-controlled lightbulbs and more.

This technology also has a foothold in the corporate and manufacturing world. In this story, we'll look at embedded systems and how they're vital to the IoT ecosystem.

What Is an Embedded System?

Embedded systems are simply computer systems that play a specific role within a larger mechanical or electrical system. Examples of embedded systems include GPS systems, central heating, heart rate monitors, and ATMs.

These computer systems have a specific purpose, and multiple embedded systems can work together as part of a product with multiple purposes like a laptop (internet connectivity, video calls, video processing, etc.).

How IoT Systems Can Benefit from Embedded Security

Sternum, an IoT security, and observability platform is working with NXP Semiconductors to improve IoT security. Through this partnership, IoT manufacturers using NXP Semiconductors may incorporate Sternum's security and visibility functionalities.

Sternum's Embedded Integrity Verification disarmed NXP's assaults with a 3% CPU overhead during DD. Sternum handles remote runtime attacks against linked devices and is a beneficial complement to NXP products.

P&S Intelligence forecasts the embedded security industry will reach $10 billion by 2020. The statistic shows a rising need to safeguard linked devices and cyber-physical systems in consumer and corporate industries.

IoT devices often lack security and visibility, making them a big security risk for enterprises. Without proactive security measures, firms depend on pricey vulnerability patching and seek alternative solutions.

Sternum's global IoT platform makes fleets of connected devices entirely safe and viewable at the edge in a simple, frictionless, and autonomous way. The technology seeks the generic fingerprints of different attack exploitations, such as command injection and buffer overflow, and stops the breach attempts in real-time, safeguarding the device's runtime integrity against zero-day and one-day attacks.

This technique protects against a broad variety of CWEs (Common Weakness Enumeration) and supports a proactive IoT security paradigm that avoids expensive reactive patching.

How Do Embedded Systems Work Within the Internet of Things?

Embedded systems work within the IoT ecosystem by connecting to the internet or digital networks to expand the range of the capabilities provided by the IoT device.

For example, a smartphone is composed of multiple embedded systems that enable the device to take pictures, connect to the cloud, and make online purchases as well as recognize fingerprints and facial biometric data. 

Multiple embedded systems create a network of interconnected systems that allow the device to take on multiple different tasks that would not be possible without the IoT-enabled hardware network.

Another example is a doorbell camera, it can record its surroundings 24 hours a day and upload the data to the cloud at predetermined intervals, or it can be programmed to only record its surroundings once movement has been detected by its motion sensors.

The doorbell camera works as an IoT device by utilizing the multiple sensors (motion detection, night vision when it gets dark, voice detection, etc.) and connecting to the internet (transmitting video footage to your smartphone, uploading footage to the cloud, etc.). Such devices can also be programmed to work autonomously.

For example, a doorbell camera can play a pre-recorded message for delivery men or visitors if you don't respond to the doorbell, or notifications can be sent to your smartphone. Another example is smart home devices that can change the temperature on the thermostat, turn on the air conditioning, or play music at a set time.

One example that iPhone users should be familiar with is the iPhone deciding when to stop charging itself once it reaches a certain battery percentage, despite being connected.

These smartphones can also send you reminders based on your previous activity. For example, your smartphone can remind you to set your alarm for a certain time, based on your previous patterns of behavior.

How Embedded Systems Are Important in the IoT Ecosystem

Embedded systems build upon the IoT ecosystem by adding additional functionalities to an IoT-enabled device due to its specialized and specific purpose. These systems make it possible for data to be sent between multiple devices, as well as transfer data to and from the internet. 

Embedded systems take data from their purpose-built sensors (i.e. video footage from webcams, or doorbell cameras, facial recognition from smartphone cameras, and so on.), and this data is deciphered and sent to an application that presents the data to the end-user or uses it to carry out an objective (i.e facial recognition used to unlock smartphones or doorbell camera footage sent to an in-home display).

Conclusion

Embedded systems play an important role in the Internet of Things ecosystem due to their specific purposes and the internet-connected networks they help to create, which in turn expands the capabilities of IoT devices.