Internet connectivity is a two-way street. With these devices becoming a gateway to our homes, workplaces, and sensitive data, they also become targets for attacks. Look around a typical household and consider what could happen when even the most mundane devices are compromised: a weaponized stove, baby monitors that spy, the contents of your refrigerator being held for ransom. We also need to consider that when a device becomes compromised, it’s not just a problem for the owner, it can also become a problem for society. A device can disrupt and do damage on a larger scale.
With the advent of the IoT society there are now multiple end-point devices connected to the network. These IoT devices will have various usage models, and with the restriction on the device resources it will often be difficult to introduce any security measures.
There have been countless cyber-attacks against the vulnerabilities of Web Cameras and Routers where the IoT devices are hijacked and used as a platform for DDos attacks,requiring attention by society as a whole.
During Aug. 2017, the US government announced the strengthening of Cyber Security for major Federal Network Infrastructure by ascertaining the vulnerability of IoT devices. It’s of paramount importance that we proactively address this emerging threat landscape with solutions that can keep pace as connected MCUs ship in billions of new devices ever year.
Organizations now started introducing their Secure IoT platform. At RSA 2018, Microsoft announced the preview of Microsoft Azure Sphere, a new solution for creating highly-secured, Internet-connected microcontroller (MCU) devices. Azure Sphere includes three components that work together to protect and power devices at the intelligent edge
- Azure Sphere certified microcontrollers (MCUs):A new cross-over class of MCUs that combines both real-time and application processors with built-in Microsoft security technology and connectivity. Each chip includes custom silicon security technology from Microsoft, inspired by 15 years of experience and learnings from Xbox, to secure this new class of MCUs and the devices they power.
- Azure Sphere OS: This OS is purpose-built to offer unequalled security and agility. Unlike the RTOSes common to MCUs today, our defense-in-depth IoT OS offers multiple layers of security. It combines security innovations pioneered in Windows, a security monitor, and a custom Linux kernel to create a highly-secured software environment and a trustworthy platform for new IoT experiences.
- Azure Sphere Security Service: A turnkey, cloud service that guards every Azure Sphere device; brokering trust for device-to-device and device-to-cloud communication through certificate-based authentication, detecting emerging security threats across the entire Azure Sphere ecosystem through online failure reporting, and renewing security through software updates. It brings the rigor and scale Microsoft has built over decades protecting our own devices and data in the cloud to MCU powered devices.
Samsung ARTIK is the integrated Smart Internet of Things (IoT) platform providing the fastest path to secure and interoperable IoT products and service. ARTIK devices communicate with ARTIK gateways using common, open-standard IoT protocols with built in link layer security. ARTIK also provides application level security by adding DTLS when needed.
The first Azure Sphere chip will be the MediaTek MT3620, which represents years of close collaboration and testing between MediaTek and Microsoft. Other early partners include Arm, who worked closely with us to incorporate their Cortex-A application processors into Azure Sphere MCUs.