As a founding member of the Security Working Group of the prpl Foundation, Imperas is supporting the definition of a new open security framework for deploying secured and authenticated virtualized services in the Internet of Things (IoT) and related emerging markets.
Recent news shows that security is a key challenge to the wide scope and deployment of IoT, with varied consequences across many IoT markets. Imagine automotive hijacking. Power grid failure. Financial security breaches. Health care hacking. Consequences are severe: successful security measures in the IoT ecosystem will accelerate the explosion of its many markets while poorly implemented security will be a significant impediment to growth of IoT usage.
Based on the critical nature of security to IoT, the prpl Foundation created its prpl Engineering Group (PEG) focused on security. The prpl Security PEG is defining an open software security framework and methodology for secured and authenticated virtualized services, creating collaboration across the industry and accelerating the security of embedded software programs across a variety of markets.
The Security PEG brings together industry, individual consultants, and developers worldwide, with unique perspectives on the many facets of security, allowing for cross-functional collaboration. A universal standard framework for enhanced security will strengthen the security of platforms: reducing risk, accelerating business growth, and enhancing consumer value.
The new Security PEG is defining a security roadmap to get from today's software-virtualized solutions to full hardware supported virtualization, enabling multi-domain security across processors, heterogeneous SoCs and systems built on these technologies including connected devices, routers and hubs. The Security PEG will also define necessary open APIs for various levels of the secure software stack so developers can innovate solutions more efficiently.
As a provider of tools for embedded software development, Imperas' perspective and added value to the collaborative PEG is in the tools for developing, testing, and demonstrating the secure software stack. Imperas is cooperating with the embedded software providers in the PEG to build Extendable Platform Kits (EPKs) to accelerate development of the individual elements of the secure stack, and enable the easy analysis and verification of these elements in isolation as well as integrated into the complete stack.
The first product of this collaboration is an Extendable Platform Kit (EPK) using an Imperas Open Virtual Platforms (OVP) virtual platform based on the OVP model of the MIPS M5150 CPU, with SELTECH's FEXER OX hypervisor and the Toppers (Tron) real time operating system (RTOS) as three individual guest operating systems (see Figure 2 below). EPKs are designed to help users accelerate embedded software development, debug and test. The platform and peripheral models included in the EPKs are open source, so that users can easily add new models to the platform as well as modify the existing peripheral models.
Figure 2. Imperas-SELTECH Extendable Platform Kit (EPK) for IoT security development
The FEXER OX hypervisor takes advantage of the hardware virtualization features in the MIPS Warrior CPUs from Imagination Technologies to enable a high-performance, low overhead virtualized environment for embedded systems. Imperas and SELTECH are also collaborating on adding tools to the Imperas virtual platform based software development tools to enhance the bring up and debug of guest operating systems and bare metal applications in the FEXER OX virtual machines.
Imperas is expecting to be able to announce results from other collaborations with PEG members in the next few months.
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Technology devices offer a wealth of possibilities for tech savvy owners keen to push their device capabilities to the limits. At the same time there are logical reasons why lawmakers and regulators need to lock down certain functionality.
Whether its in products as mundane as a WiFi router, or as forward thinking as drones and smart cars, the IoT is making its place in the world and regulators and consumers are at odds in terms of how best to regulate it.
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