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New Training: Explain Weaknesses Inherent to Specialized Systems

by Team Nuggets
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Published on February 25, 2021

In this 6-video skill, CBT Nuggets trainer Shawn Powers teaches the weaknesses various specialized systems have when compared to other systems. Watch this new CompTIA training.

Learn CompTIA with one of these courses:

This training includes:

  • 6 videos

  • 21 minutes of training

You’ll learn these topics in this skill:

  • Intro to Specialized Systems

  • Understanding ICS and SCADA

  • Considering Mobile Devices

  • Embedded and Real-Time Devices

  • Utilizing IoT Devices

  • Understanding POS Device Weaknesses

When Specialized Systems Become Problematic

There are two basic types of systems: general and specialized. General systems are designed to perform a variety of functions; they're typically robust, resilient, and have numerous commands and capabilities. On the other hand, specialized systems are often designed to execute a very narrowly-defined set of functions, and perhaps only a single one.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an excellent example of specialized systems. The IoT consists of an extensive network of sensors and command modules that perform specific, limited tasks. From temperature gauges that feed data to the local weather station to scales embedded in roadways that measure traffic levels, each device is designed to perform one thing flawlessly, again and again.

One of the problems IoT devices have is the fact that they must be streamlined and programmed with the least possible number of functions. Many of these operate off of firmware alone; this makes them extremely reliable, but it also makes them inflexible. If a new security issue is discovered after a thousand devices have been installed, it can be extremely difficult (and sometimes impossible) to patch them.

Because these simple devices can last for years or decades, they can introduce long-term security vulnerabilities that wouldn't otherwise exist.

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