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Microsoft launches security program for Azure IoT

Microsoft presented updates to its cloud-based Internet of Things suite, Microsoft Azure IoT, including a security program.

Internet of Things (IoT) devices are under increased scrutiny following massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in the past few weeks, including one which took down Netflix, Amazon and Spotify last week. Delivering a keynote at IOT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona on Wednesday, Sam George, IoT director for Microsoft Azure, presented a number of updates to Microsoft’s cloud-based IoT suite, including a security program for Azure IoT. ”How do I know and how do I know before hackers know whether my IoT service is secure?,” he asked, explaining that the new security features offered a matchmaking service connecting users to security experts able to perform security audits, identify issues and provide recommendations.

The Azure IoT security program will be examining everything from a businesses’ devices and assets to gateways and communication to the cloud. To begin with, security auditors will include Casaba Security LLC, CyberX, Praetorian, and Tech Mahindra. Microsoft also announced it will be collaborating with these partners as well as standards organizations including the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) to establish industry protocols and best practices for security auditing.

Additional features to Azure IoT, launched to help Microsoft’s partners accelerate their customers’ IoT solutions deployments, include Azure IoT hub device management, hub routing, a gateway software development kit (SDK) as well as a device catalogue. The catalogue help partners select devices from the 175 devices included in the Azure Certified IoT program according to applications and business needs. The device management hub aims to make it easier to update devices. ”This makes it easy to manage the software and configuration. You cannot secure what you cannot update and this really helps,” said Sam George.

Enhanced security in Intel’s new IoT processor

During a keynote at IOT Solutions World Congress on Tuesday, Jonathan Ballon, vice president Internet of Things at Intel, said the latest DDoS attacks were to be considered as a wake-up call for the IoT industry. ”The attacks were not technologically sophisticated,” he said. ”At Intel, we are building in security at the hardware level, which will make passwords unnecessary. We are embedding security at the silicon level. We must employ security as a standard and not simply as best practice,” he added before presenting the company’s latest processor, the Intel Atom E3900 Series, with enhanced security. ”It is the first truly purpose-built multi-segment silicon platform,” he said. ”It is already the most successful IoT platform in our history although we are launching it today.”

In addition to enhanced security, the new processor promises to address the increasing need for data processing at the edge. ”The Intel Atom processor E3900 series will make the edge and fog more intelligent – enabling many of the processing needs to take place at or near the data sensor and alleviating the need to push all processing to the data center,” Intel said.

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