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A study by IDC shows that 42 percent of German companies have already implemented IoT projects or are in the process of concrete piloting. Although IoT security is a complex matter, it does not have to be complicated. The manufacturing industry must strengthen the protection of its networked systems and adapt them to the high security standards of its IT infrastructure. The right solutions are now being developed for this.

Checklist: Seven properties of highly secure IoT devices

"IoT devices are safe if they have seven properties: Hardware-based cryptographic keys and device identities, a "trusted computing base" that includes all security-related functions of the device, multi-level security, isolation, certificate-based authentication, regular security updates and meaningful error reporting", explains Galen Hunt, Distinguished Engineer & Managing Director for IoT Security Solutions at Microsoft.

Those who use these features as a checklist thus meet the requirements to ensure the integrity of their networked systems and devices.

Integrated security as a team of man and machine

However, the biggest hurdle is often the lack of a consistent and integrated security solution for IoT devices or systems in companies. With Azure Sphere , Microsoft has therefore created a platform for the Internet of Things, inviting OEMs and partners to develop secure IoT solutions for their hardware and applications and bring them quickly to market.

As an integrated security solution, Azure Sphere consists of four components: specially certified chips, a purpose-built operating system and cloud-based security services. However, the fourth and perhaps most important component has nothing to do with technology: an experienced team takes care of the security of each and every device certified for Azure Sphere .

Reliably protect networked devices and data

Microsoft works closely with customers and hardware manufacturers to continually improve the protection of networked devices: For example, microcontroller manufacturer NXP has announced a secure, highly efficient, intelligent processor for edge nodes. And semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm is developing wireless chips that use Azure Sphere.

First experiences from customers are already available: The Starbucks coffee house chain has integrated Azure Sphere into its coffee machines in order to reliably record consumption data and move from reactive maintenance to a proactive approach. This allows potential problems to be identified before they can even arise.