MITRE Unveils EMB3D Threat-Modeling Framework for Embedded Devices

The MITRE Corporation, in collaboration with industry partners, has launched EMB3D, a comprehensive threat-modeling framework designed to enhance the security of embedded devices in critical infrastructure environments, providing a robust knowledge base of cyber threats and essential mitigation strategies to prevent devastating consequences such as widespread power outages or disruptions to essential services." This description focuses on the primary topic (EMB3D threat-modeling framework), main entities (MITRE Corporation and industry partners), context (critical infrastructure environments), significant actions (launch of EMB3D), and implications (preventing devastating consequences). The description also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as a diagram or illustration of the EMB3D framework, embedded devices, or critical infrastructure environments.

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MITRE Unveils EMB3D Threat-Modeling Framework for Embedded Devices

MITRE Unveils EMB3D Threat-Modeling Framework for Embedded Devices

The MITRE Corporation, in collaboration with industry partners, has launched EMB3D, a comprehensive threat-modeling framework designed to bolster the security of embedded devices in critical infrastructure environments. Developed alongside Niyo Little Thunder Pearson, Red Balloon Security, and Narf Industries, EMB3D aims to provide a robust knowledge base of cyber threats and essential mitigation strategies.

Why this matters: The security of embedded devices in critical infrastructure environments has far-reaching implications for national security, public safety, and economic stability. As cyber attacks on these devices continue to rise, a robust threat-modeling framework like EMB3D is crucial for preventing devastating consequences, such as widespread power outages or disruptions to essential services.

As a living framework, EMB3D will undergo continuous updates to address emerging threats and vulnerabilities specific to embedded devices. By offering a unified view of vulnerabilities and corresponding security mechanisms, the framework seeks to promote a secure-by-design approach among device vendors, ultimately reducing exploitable out-of-the-box flaws and ensuring secure default configurations.

EMB3D aligns with and expands upon existing models such as Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE), MITRE ATT&CK, and Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE), while maintaining a laser focus on embedded devices. The framework defines threats based on observations of threat actor behavior, proof-of-concept and theoretical security research publications, and reported device vulnerabilities and weaknesses. By mapping these threats to specific device properties, EMB3D empowers users to develop accurate, tailored threat models for their embedded devices.

The framework's device properties encompass hardware and software components and capabilities, including physical hardware, network services and protocols, software, and firmware. Each category is further divided into sub-properties, which are then mapped to a set of threats. This granular approach enables a comprehensive understanding of potential attack vectors and facilitates the development of targeted mitigation strategies.

For each identified threat, EMB3D outlines mitigation strategies that device vendors can leverage to prevent and reduce risk. End users can also utilize these strategies to validate the sufficient protection of their devices against specific threats. The framework's full set of mitigations is slated for release in the summer 2024 update.

Yosry Barsoum, Vice President and Director at the Center for Securing the Homeland at MITRE, emphasized the collaborative nature of the framework's development: "Our framework's strength lies in the collaborative efforts and rigorous review process across industries. The diverse perspectives and invaluable insights shared have fortified our approach, ensuring a robust and effective solution to address the evolving challenges in embedded device security."

EMB3D has garnered significant interest for peer review across diverse industries, with numerous organizations piloting the threat model and providing feedback to refine its content and usability. This ongoing collaborative effort aims to strengthen the model's ability to enable 'secure by design' practices in the development of embedded devices.

The launch of EMB3D comes at a critical time, as attacks on operational technology and Internet of Things devices continue to rise across various sectors, including food and agriculture, chemical, water treatment, manufacturing, and energy. By providing a comprehensive threat-modeling framework tailored to embedded devices, MITRE and its collaborators aim to bolster the security posture of these critical systems and safeguard them against evolving cyber threats.

Key Takeaways

  • MITRE launches EMB3D, a threat-modeling framework for embedded devices in critical infrastructure.
  • EMB3D provides a robust knowledge base of cyber threats and mitigation strategies.
  • The framework is a living document, updated to address emerging threats and vulnerabilities.
  • EMB3D promotes a secure-by-design approach among device vendors, reducing out-of-the-box flaws.
  • The framework is tailored to embedded devices, mapping threats to device properties and capabilities.