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IoT Edge Device Security

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IoT Device Lifecycle Management

As with any products, IoT devices progress through stages of a lifecycle. Included in IoT Device Lifecycle Management is security and integrity – ensuring both the device, and the data it sends and receives, is error free and protected from external threats.

An IoT device has five distinct lifecycle stages.

Before Build

Before Build is when the security and integrity of the supply chain providing the device’s hardware and software are confirmed.

As an example, Allegro software is FIPS 140-2/140-3 validated, and its proprietary versus open source technology is developed from the ground up for IoT devices. This assures this supply chain component meets stringent IoT security and data integrity requirements.


Beginning of Life (BoL)

For IoT devices, the Beginning of Life stage is when embedded trust begins to take shape. This is where Root of Trust which is the building block for securing IoT devices and Secure Boot that prevents loss of control when the device is turned on and starts to boot up are implemented. The role of cryptography which will be used to secure IoT devices against data breaches is also defined during the BoL stage.


Middle of Life (MoL)

Middle of Life is where IoT devices spend most of their time. Once the IoT device is deployed, its software and firmware must run and manage devices as intended – processes and procedures must be in place to ensure this happens.

The key lifecycle management functions during the MoL are provisioning, configuration and maintenance.

After being manufactured in the BoL stage, an IoT device is provisioned, using a known method, so the software or firmware perform as required for the particular deployed application.

Configuration parameters instruct the device to operate with specific characteristics. This process can be executed “by hand”, or can be part of the provision operation.


Routine maintenance may need to be performed so product configurations and specifications are kept up to date, and to ensure the device is operating at full capacity.

A well-understood maintenance process is also required for when an IoT device fails.


End of Life (EoL)

End of Life occurs when an IoT device is no longer supported. Firmware or software updates are not available, so the device can only operate “as is”. In essence, the product is being prepared to be decommissioned.


Decommission and Disposal

Once the IoT device is no longer in use, it is decommissioned. At this stage it must transition easily into the safe and secure disposal of hardware, software, and perhaps most importantly, data.


IoT Lifecycle Management Critical Requirements

There are critical hardware, firmware, software and data standards designed to make IoT devices perform with integrity, and as per product specifications, throughout the entire lifecycle.

Security must be embedded within IoT device design, operations and decommissioning. Hardware, firmware, software and data must be secured in all stages of the device’s lifecycle.

Communication to or from devices must be initiated from a known source within the IoT ecosystem, and with the certainty that none of the devices have been compromised.

Confirmation that data has been exchanged between devices in its entirety, and validation that software updates have been executed from start to finish.

The device must log all events in a blockchain ledger that is immutable so the records cannot be altered.


Allegro IoT Device Lifecycle Management Technologies

Allegro’s technologies are developed to enable security and connectivity through all stages of IoT device lifecycle management. These technologies include:

Allegro solutions are FIPS 140-3 validated, proprietary technologies (not open source) that are built from the ground up for IoT devices, and include the availability of cryptography and communication protocol stacks using XML and JSON formats for data interchange.

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