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  • Writer's pictureENTRUST

ENTRUST Manufacturer Usage Description (MUD) Protection Profiles

In an era where the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the way we live and work, ensuring the security and privacy of connected devices has become paramount. This is where MUD, or Manufacturer Usage Description, comes into play. MUD is an embedded software standard defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that empowers IoT device makers to communicate their device's intended behavior on a network. In this blog, we'll explore the significance of MUD profiles, who accesses them, and how they are shaping the ENTRUST project's mission.

Defining MUDs

Manufacturer Usage Description (MUD) is akin to a device's "personality profile" in the digital world. It enables IoT device manufacturers to articulate their devices' specifications and expected communication patterns when they connect to a network. Think of it as a device's way of saying, "Here's how I'm supposed to behave." This description provides invaluable insights into what a device should and should not do when on a network. It's like a rulebook that helps ensure that devices operate securely within specific parameters.

MUD Profiles Unveiled

MUD profiles are the backbone of this communication. They are typically crafted in JSON format, a lightweight and human-readable data interchange format. These profiles contain essential information, including the MUD version, URLs for updates, last update timestamps, cache validity, and access policies. Access policies detail how the device should communicate, both from and to the device.

Who Utilizes MUD Profiles?

MUD profiles are accessed by various stakeholders in the IoT ecosystem. Network access control (NAC) systems, such as firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS), rely on MUD profiles to manage and control network access. Network administrators use them to fine-tune security policies. Device manufacturers create and provide MUD files for their devices, and users can review these files to understand a device's behavior on the network.

ENTRUST's Mission with MUD Profiles

The ENTRUST project is pushing the boundaries of IoT security and privacy. It aims to ensure that IoT devices, particularly medical devices, operate within established trust boundaries. This project recognizes that devices in the dynamic world of IoT may have static or dynamic execution properties that need validation during runtime. These properties, trust indicators, and validation processes will be embodied in the MUD as part of the ENTRUST MUD Protection Profiles. These profiles will contain critical validation properties for each device and service, ensuring that trustworthiness is continuously monitored and verified during runtime.

MUD Profiles in ENTRUST

ENTRUST's approach goes beyond the static description of device behavior. It incorporates static and dynamic execution properties that require validation during runtime. This includes examining signatures of running software, assessing patches and system configurations, and scrutinizing the execution flow of loaded codebases. By embedding these checks into the MUD profiles, ENTRUST creates a robust framework for evaluating the trustworthiness of each device, ensuring that critical services meet the highest standards of security and privacy.

In conclusion, MUD profiles are the linchpin of IoT security, and the ENTRUST project is harnessing their power to safeguard medical IoT devices. As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of connected devices, initiatives like ENTRUST, with their innovative use of MUD profiles, are setting the bar for trust and security in the IoT ecosystem. It's a promising step towards a safer and more secure digital world.


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