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In a competitive market it is important to find a differentiator for your products, and often a competitive advantage is sought through adding ‘smart’ features and connecting devices to the customers’ home network, or the wider Internet. However, as more features and connections are added, the security of such systems is often degraded.

Additionally, the security of connected consumer devices is not just a matter of interest to the customers who use these devices, it is increasingly becoming a matter of national interest. Malware that can take control of, and subvert the operation of, connected systems has been used to launch some of the largest attacks on the Internet that have ever been seen. The connected nature of these systems also means security must be considered for any ‘apps’ that run on separate systems (such as the consumer’s phone), as well as ‘cloud’ services.

Of course, fitting security into the increasingly tight time and cost budget under which consumer devices are made can be difficult. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that can be taken to increase the security of connected systems, as outlined herein. These are organized with the most important requirements first, and it is recommended that these are addressed as the initial priority in any system, considered for all aspects (device, cloud, and app). To assist with the implementation of these items, guidance is provided on the most important First Five.

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