At The Register, Richard Chirgwin explains why every new “internet of things” release is pretty much certain to be lacking in the security department:
Let me introduce someone I’ll call the Junior VP of Embedded Systems Security, who wears the permanent pucker of chronic disappointment.
The reason he looks so disappointed is that he’s in charge of embedded Internet of Things security for a prominent Smart Home startup.
Everybody said “get into security, you’ll be employable forever on a good income”, so he did.
Because it’s a startup he has to live in the Valley. After his $10k per month take-home, the rent leaves him just enough to live on Soylent plus whatever’s on offer in the company canteen where every week is either vegan week or paleo week.
Nobody told him that as Junior VP for Embedded Systems Security (JVPESS), his job is to give advice that’s routinely ignored or overruled.
Meet the designer
“All we want to do is integrate the experience of the bedside A.M. clock-radio into a fully-social cloud platform to leverage its audience reach and maximise the effectiveness of converting advertising into a positive buying experience”, the Chief Design Officer said (the CDO dresses like Jony Ive, because they retired the Steve Jobs uniform like a football club retiring the Number 10 jumper when Pele quit).
For his implementation, the JVPESS chose a chip so stupid the Republicans want to field it as Trump’s running-mate, wrote a communications spec that did exactly and only what was in the requirements, and briefed the embedded software engineer.
The embedded software engineer only makes stuff actually work, so he earns about one-sixth that of the User Experience Ninja that reports to Jony Ive’s Style Slave and has to live in Detroit. But he’s boring and conscientious and delivers the code.
Eventually, the JVPESS hands over a design to Jony Ive’s Outfit knowing it’ll end in tears.
Two weeks later, Jony Ive’s Style Slave returns to request approval for “just a couple of last minute revisions. We have to press ‘go’ on the project by close-of-business today so if you could just look this over”.