SinmaDotsSigmaDots, a cyber-security startup/subsidiary of Essence Group, is partnering with Telit, an enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT) with the intent to expand IoT security and strengthen business continuity. They will leverage SigmaDots technology.

Dr Haim Amir, CEO and founder of Essence Group
Dr Haim Amir, CEO and founder of Essence Group

SigmaDots technology was developed out of the need to strengthen the security of our IoT devices,” said Dr Haim Amir, CEO and founder of Essence Group. “We’ve been creating innovative connected device solutions for more than 25 years, so we fully understand the challenges and the necessity of creating airtight cyber protection.

The IoT challenge

IoT devices without strong cyber protection can all too easily become part of a botnet. Botnets can:

  • execute distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks
  • fall prey to IoT-focused attacks (like man-in-the-middle, data and identity theft and device hijacking).

Unfortunately major hurdles prevent the securing of always-connected IoT devices and endpoints to enable a true machine-to-machine economy. Three reasons typify the challenge:

  • a lack of standards: there is no security standard or group of standards for IoT devices and device interoperability
  • limited resources: IoT devices have limited on-board resources and cannot, therefore, run traditional security tools
  • the weaknesses inherent in a centralised approach: IoT sensor systems tend to be highly-centralised.

Compounding these challenges is the feat that exploitation of IoT networks – for mounting large-scale cyberattacks – is just a matter of time. Yet, existing blockchain-based solutions don’t suit real-time device interactions. Hence the need for the SigmaDots/Telit link up.

SigmaDots and Essence

Essence Group develops LTE-based connected devices and IoT platforms. The team at SigmaDots has more than three decades of experience in military cybersecurity. It has enhanced Essence innovations, specifically strengthening connected device management (adopting a completely new approach).

SigmaDots has developed an embedded, blockchain-based cybersecurity solution for IoT and IIoT systems. This SigmaDots solution is:

  • embeddable in SoCs (systems on chips)
  • available as an aftermarket product (IoT distributors can install it as a value-added solution).

SigmaDot’s software solutions:

  • harness a serverless architecture
  • add blockchain-based cybersecurity to an IoT ecosystem
  • offer a scalable, interoperable, and secure platform.

Whereas traditional IoT deployments comprise multiple gateways, which each connect to a server, thereby creating a centralised, hackable and vulnerable network, SigmaDots bases its serverless architecture on multiple gateways. These connect to form a virtual server which acts as an intricate server barrier that:

  • is extremely difficult to penetrate
  • delivers cyber protection at scale.

Where SigmaDots’ distributed architecture differs is that it turns the traditional weakneeses of large scale IoT networks into an advantage. By harnessing the principles of distributed system architecture, including Blockchain – DAG and DHT – it provides IoT security. These technologies:

  • divert attacks on multiple attack vectors
  • minimise the attack surface.
Itsik Harpaz, General Manager of SigmaDots
Itmasik Harpaz, General Manager of SigmaDots

The effect is that the platform recognises the limited resources of IoT. In effect, SigmaDots empowers connected ecosystems so that the  machine-to-machine economy can expand.

IoT is finally delivering on its promises of complete connectivity – wearables, mobile apps, home safety, smart meters and in industry – generally anywhere” said Itsik Harpaz, General Manager of SigmaDots.

However, this connectivity brings significant threats – an attack on a single device can spread throughout the entire network.

Telit

Telit offers wireless connectivity modules, platforms, virtual cellular IoT operator services and professional services. It says it has ’empowered’ hundreds of millions of connected ‘things’ to date across thousands of direct and indirect customers.

With nearly two decades of IoT experience, Telit seeks to redefine the boundaries of its digital business. Its objective is to delivering secure, integrated end-to-end IoT solutions for many of the world’s larger brands, including:

  • enterprises
  • OEMs
  • system integrators
  • service providers.

Telit believes its experience means it understands the need for enhanced solutions. It decided to work with SigmaDots to improve resilience to cyberattacks. Together the two companies will collaborate to reduce device vulnerability to cyberthreats via the use of blockchain technology for:

  • routers
  • control panels
  • IoT gateways
  • other IoT devices.

The ubiquity of IoT devices makes them attractive targets for cyber mischief,” said Alon Segal, SVP of Software & Services, Telit.

Our collaboration with SigmaDots adds another layer of security and communications resiliency using distributed technologies to offer advanced, secure infrastructure solutions for our customers.

Enterprise Times: what does this mean

Alon Segal, SVP of Software & Services, Telit
Alon Segal, SVP of Software & Services, Telit

Most agree that IoT will matter for the future. Indeed, much of the justification for 5G involves IoT and connecting enormous numbers of IoT devices. But this will only happen if enterprises, in particular, feel confident that IoT will not only be secure but also will not open risks to their business models.

This partnership between SigmaDots and Telit promises one particular solution (there are others, for example HDAC). What is not so clear, thus far, is exactly how they will add or integrate blockchain into their solution. Understanding this will be essential before any enterprise should adopt what SigmaDots/Telit propose.

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Charles Brett
Charles Brett is a business/technology analyst consultant. His specialist areas include enterprise software, blockchain and enterprise mobility tech (including metering). Specific industry sectors of interest and experience include finance (especially systems supporting wholesale finance), telecommunications and energy. Charles has spoken at multiple industry conferences, has written for numerous publications (including the London Times and the Financial Times). He was the General Chair of the bi-annual High Performance Systems Workshop, 2005. In addition he is an author and novelist. His Technology books include: Making the Most of Mobility Vol I (eBook, 2012); Explaining iTunes, iPhones and iPads for Windows Users (eBook, 2011); 5 Axes of Business Application Integration (2004). His published novels, in the Corruption Series, include: The HolyPhone Confessional Crisis, Corruption’s Price: A Spanish Deceit and Virginity Despoiled. The fourth in The Corruption Series - Resurrection - has is now available. Charles has a B.A. and M.A in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He has lived or worked in Italy, Abu Dhabi, South Africa, California and New York, Spain, Israel, Estonia and Cyprus.

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