As the connected devices and products we rely on have become increasingly software-reliant, securing them against cybersecurity and compliance risks has become a major concern for product security pros.

Today’s evolving cybersecurity regulation for software-driven devices and products addresses the expanding threat landscape. As a result, companies are investing more and more in technologies that will help them ensure the security and compliance of their products, without delaying time-to-market.

While automated security tools address many of the challenges product and device security pros are faced with today, it’s not enough to  invest in a variety of generic tools. According to our recent State of Medical Device Cybersecurity Report, the proliferation of automated cybersecurity tools is becoming a challenge in and of itself.

Data shows that device security pros are struggling to manage a growing set of tools and technologies that were meant to make their lives easier, rather than create even more challenges.

figure 1, top device security challenges 2022

5 Reasons Product and Device Security Requires More Than a Generic Stack of Tools

While use of automated security and compliance tools are meant to help product and device security pros streamline and scale cybersecurity processes, it seems that managing this growing set of tools has become a challenge in itself. Relying on a set of tools, rather than managing security and compliance from one unified industry-specific platform, often slows down processes and leaves organizations open to risk.

There are a number of reasons generic tools fall short when it comes to connected devices and products:

#1 Use of generic tools or repurposed IT tools that aren’t industry-specific often overlook some of the vulnerabilities and risks most relevant to smart devices and products. Tools that aren’t industry-specific often can’t support the technologies used in a particular industry,

like operating systems, hardware architecture, development frameworks, file formats, and more. That means that they can’t effectively analyze the code and detect vulnerabilities and other security gaps. For example: IT tools might focus just on Linux and Windows operating systems, but in the embedded space, developers use other hardware architectures or operating systems, like QNX, RTOSs, and others. Using a dedicated product security platform can ensure the entire development, delivery, and post-production environment is covered.

#2 Generic security tools focus on threat detection for a single component level, which is only one aspect of product security, without focusing on security at the system-level.

#3 Many security tools only allow for periodic security snapshots. This is in contrast to the current threat landscape and regulations, which require continuous visibility over product and device security.

#4 Using multiple tools for different aspects of compliance and security, at different stages of design and development, requires a lot of manual management in order to prioritize, maintain records and reports, track KPIs, and more.

#5 When dealing with a number of tools, providing executives with a comprehensive view is a challenge. Executives get a limited view, with little to no ability to manage cybersecurity and cyber compliance across all product lines. There is also no way to track the progress of operations across the entire product lifecycle.

At the end of the day, the growing stack of generic tools that product and device security teams are currently dealing with means that teams have to correlate findings from different tools, while navigating between different UIs and processes. Teams are spending valuable time every day on manual tasks like prioritization, tracking, and reporting, and

The Solution: Unifying Security and Compliance Under One Product Security Platform

The best way to avoid the pitfalls, blindspots, manual work, and human error that come with working with a variety of generic tools, is to implement one integrated security platform that supports the entire product lifecycle ecosystem.

A product security platform helps teams save valuable time, since it focuses on the management of threats across a complex ecosystem of components, products, and systems.

It helps speed up and scale managing compliance, security management, and product development across multiple tools. Automating all of the processes and workflows throughout the product life cycle, from design and development, to deployment and post-production, ensures processes are streamlined, and vulnerability management is seamless throughout all phases.

Integrating a product security platform also allows teams to automatically perform continuous assessments with every release, ensuring that patches and updates are implemented swiftly with every new software version – eliminating the security risk of new vulnerabilities in outdated versions.

Another important aspect of a dedicated product security platform is that it’s industry-specific – built to address the issues that matter most to product and device providers, ensuring the full system view that’s critical to security and compliance.

For larger and global organizations, a key capability where a product security platform excels,  is that it’s designed to provide complete visibility and control over the product security of the entire organization, across sites, business units, and teams. This is highly critical to today’s OEMs, which are often big and multinational, with multiple sites. For these organizations, a product security platform provides a solution that is integrative and overarching, regardless of where teams are based.

Platform vs. tools comparison

How Key Stakeholders Benefit From a Unified Product Security Platform

In addition to helping product and device security teams automate and streamline processes, integrating a product security platform also provides management with all the information they need to continuously improve their cybersecurity strategy.

It provides one unified management dashboard for all aspects of cybersecurity and compliance, real-time alerts on business-critical issues, and helps set specific goals to track progress in real-time.

The business case for adopting a product security platform is clear: it enables device and product manufacturers to accelerate time-to-market by eliminating the fragmented processes caused by using a set of generic tools, ultimately making cybersecurity and compliance processes more effective and efficient.

About the Author

Guy Gilam

Guy is Head of Product Marketing at Cybellum. He enjoys cultivating the connection between innovation and market value, aided by 15 years of product management and marketing experience at start-ups and tech giants, in domains ranging from cyber security to TV services to IoT platforms.

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