Yritystehdas 20.7.2021 8:15 9 min read

How to easily identify cybersecurity risks from IoT devices?

Improving the security of the IoT devices effectively is highly important especially to the companies that are manufacturing devices or are using those in their own business. When realized, cyber security risks cause significant damage, causing not only financial loss but also a big bump in the company's reputation.

In this article, we are considering a solution, how to easily identify cyber security risks from IoT devices. 

A Solution Which You Can Use to Easily Identify Cyber Security Risks From IoT Devices

Recognizing cyber security risks can be expensive and time-consuming. The job requires deep expertise in IoT devices and software, and these experts are not always easy to be found. Binaré is offering an automated analysis platform that can identify and analyze risks and weaknesses from various software/firmware. The vulnerability of the IoT device's firmware can be noticed and corrective action can be done and targeted precisely after a scan.

Binaré’s CEO and co-founder Andrei Costin explains that their technology and expert services are targeted to the companies or communities which are either testing, certifying or developing IoT devices.

“With our technology, the security of both the company providing the IoT equipment and the customer using the equipment will improve cost-effectively”, Costin describes.

In the background of the Binaré’s Software as a Service (SaaS) solution is a long research and development work. Andrei Costin has done his research work at the University of Jyväskylä, from which his company Binaré has also received support in its early stages. Currently, Binaré is looking for growth and wants to develop its business through corporate coaching.  Binaré takes part in The Startup Factory’s Incubator Program. Read more about ours Incubator Program.

The Cyber Security Risks of IoT Devices Are Easily Overlooked

IoT refers to the words Internet of Things and IIoT refers to Industrial IoT. There are different types of IoT devices, but in practice, in the end, it is a matter of computers running software (which is also called firmware in the world of IoT, IIoT, embedded devices). In a constantly digitizing world, the operation of more devices that are essential to our lives is based on artificial intelligence and the software/firmware on the device. 

Cybersecurity threats come up for discussion from time to time.

For IoT devices, safety risks are easy to ignore when everything is working well. However, overcoming cyber security risks and software vulnerabilities with a shrug can have significant consequences. The realization of threats can jeopardize the company's reputation and business. "In the worst case, they can cause great harm to device users - for example if you think such IoT devices are inside medical devices such as hacked insuline pumps, or self-driving cars", Andrei Costin points out.

What consequences can cyber security risks have? Andrei Costin illustrates this with a concrete example.

“The Tesla car is an example of a very complex IoT device. The software of cars, like many other IoT devices, needs to be updated from time to time. Of course, the updated software brings new features, but it can also bring software bugs and security vulnerabilities.”

With Binaré’s platform, for example, a new car’s software/firmware update can be tested and its safety ensured before the update reaches millions of cars.

“Scanning a single software/firmware update is much safer and cheaper than repairing and patching a million cars due to faulty software”, Andrei Costin demonstrates.

How to Easily Identify Cyber Security Risks From IoT Devices and Why Is It Important?

Andrei Costin believes that addressing the cyber security risks of IoT devices will improve the quality of life.

“For instance, we use a dishwasher every day. If its software is not secure, it will affect our practical life and cause a negative user experience."

Improving the cyber security of IoT devices against hackers is also particularly important for critical structures in society, such as energy production processes.

The automated analysis platform, developed by Binaré, makes it easy to analyze and identify cyber security risks and firmware vulnerabilities. After the analysis, the company knows exactly the actual status of the firmware and it can choose and suggest the corrective actions wisely. Binaré also offers expert services for further work that requires more specific look or expertise.

Binaré’s solution brings savings not only in money but also in time.

“Our system helps the company reduce the time spent on the process. Instead of days or weeks, vulnerabilities and security issues can be found within minutes or hours”, Andrei Costin tells.

For example, a new product can be launched quickly without compromising safety, which is a significant advantage, especially in competitive industries.

An expert to analyze an IoT device can be difficult to find and hiring is expensive. Man-made work is slower and also has the potential for human error. The work done by Binaré’s automated platform is responsible for the input of thousands of experts with just a few clicks. The system has been used to detect numerous security threats from a wide variety of IoT devices, including surveillance cameras, printers, routers, and smart TVs.  

Technology for Identifying Cyber Security Risks From IoT Devices to International Markets

The future looks bright to Binaré. Product development work is underway and external funding will also be obtained. Among other things, Binaré has received assistance from the Startup Factory’s Incubator Program in applying for financing and managing various areas of the business.

Binaré’s business or solutions are not time- or place-based, and the company’s team is accustomed to working remotely. The intention is also to target international markets, where there are more potential customers.

“We will continue our strong research and development work. We are working to commercialize our technology to further improve cyber security on IoT devices and make the world a digitally-safer place”, says Andrei Costin.  

In addition to marketing and sales development, Binaré's goal is also to expand the network and to get better involved with the Finnish business community. Andrei Costin has a highly positive opinion about The Startup Factory’s Incubator program. In his view, the incubator program has been a natural continuation of the start-up company that originated from the University of Jyväskylä.

Costin sees that the most important contribution of coaching has been networking with other companies in the Jyväskylä region and the help of experts in business development. Whether you are a beginner entrepreneur or a seasoned business person with R&D/high-tech background and international ambition - Andrei Costin warmly recommends The Startup Factory’s professional program and its extraordinary talented and dedicated business coaches.

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Text: Outi Kaarina Myllymäki