Industrial Insights

Security Innovations That Are Helping Businesses in 2021

More people are now online than ever before. According to Time, internet use is up 35%, and it’s mostly due to how we’re home for longer than usual right now. Organizations, too, have had to adapt and shift their operations online, and now more businesses than ever are operating via a remote setup. 

This may seem like a setback and a big adjustment at first, but thanks to increased online activity, businesses can make the most of the opportunities in the digital space. In line with this, Ayima Hong Kong states that even small businesses cannot pass up on investing in a full SEO strategy to direct traffic — and revenues — to their websites. In a time where more people are searching via Google, this is the perfect opportunity to expand their reach, especially since e-commerce has seen a massive increase in adoption as well. 

However, with the sudden abundance of activities online, cyber attacks have also become more aggressive. The good news is there are exciting innovations that can protect businesses from succumbing to these attacks. 

Hardware Authentication

It’s no secret that usernames and passwords are inadequate forms of online protection. A more secure form of authentication is needed, which is why companies are trying to bake authentication into a user’s hardware. While this technology isn’t new as demonstrated in things like licensing technologies and tokens, its most immediate application is for authenticating an endpoint in a traditional IT environment — laptops, desktops, and mobile devices using Intel chipsets. 

Intel’s Authenticate solution combines a variety of hardware-enhanced factors that work together to validate a user’s identity. It adds more authentication hoops to jump through, helping businesses be certain that the user says who they say they are. While it may seem like a hassle to some, the extra layers make a world of a difference when it comes to security. 

5G Technology

5G or fifth-generation cellular wireless technology has not reached global adoption just yet, but what it can do to the world is promising. With benefits like increased availability and network capacity, higher speeds, and lower latency, its higher performance and improved efficiency can effectively disrupt industries and create new user experiences. 

However, due to the increasing adoption rate — there are over 3.4 million 5G users in North America alone — and its state-of-the-art features, decision-makers are concerned about their organization’s digital security. They fear that 5G could increase their risk of digital attacks when in fact, it heralds a new era of network security with the IMSI encryption feature. This means that all data sent over the 5G network is integrity protected, subject to mutual authentication, and encrypted. 

Blockchain

We’ve said that blockchain is not the panacea for IoT Security. But while it rings true, its distributed trustless system and greater immutability and traceability make it a viable technology when it comes to protecting businesses from cyber attacks. There is no intermediary to arbitrate any sort of transaction, and it’s difficult for anyone to hack into the system given how all information is shared in a distributed ledger. 

Blockchain can then be used to allow IoT devices to make security decisions without relying on a central authority, like locking down any nodes that devices deem suspicious. It can also be used to protect data exchanges between devices, attaining real-time secure data transmissions and ensuring timely communication. 

Physically Unclonable Function (PUF)

PUF or Physically Unclonable Function plays a significant part in ensuring that the tech used for cryptography remains protected. Essentially, a PUF could be thought of as a “fingerprint” which is unique for every semiconductor device. By utilizing this highly variated technology, you can protect communications from point A to point B, detect whether messages received have been tampered with, and prove that a device belongs to a particular group or network. 

This has become evident with UMC’s collaboration with eMemory and PUFsecurity in coming up with the PUFflash. This has simplified the combination of PUF and embedded flash, providing users with an integrated security solution to encrypt data in the flash. Additionally, PUFflash allows them to customize their ICs for instances when robust security is very much needed. PUF technology was also utilized to create PUFsecurity’s PUFrt which solves several issues IoT chip designers face, like improving product-identity management through creating unique IDs. This is especially crucial for key generation, which deals with coding and decoding sensitive data. The true strength of PUF technology lies in its ability to generate true random configurations, making it unpredictable and virtually impenetrable. 

JBrawford
JBrawford

JBrawford is a writer who is passionate about sharing information on cyber security. When she’s not working on a new piece, you’ll find her jogging in the local park with her Labrador, Polly.

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