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Kaspersky launches IoT OS

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Kaspersky Lab has launched KasperskyOS, a specialised operating system designed for embedded systems with strict cybersecurity requirements.

“A massive undertaking that has taken Kaspersky Lab’s best talent 15 years to create,” says the company, KasperskyOS is now commercially available to OEMs, ODMs, systems integrators and software developers around the world. Key implementations of the operating system are tailored for the telecoms and automotive industries as well as critical infrastructure.

Kaspersky Lab provided the folliowing information:

KasperskyOS introduces a secure-by-design environment for the ever-growing and increasingly attacked embedded systems and IoT devices. In a modern connected world where rich IoT devices are being used by consumers, utilised in critical infrastructure, control many aspects of our everyday life, the demand for a strong security approach is higher than ever. Based on a new, developed entirely in-house microkernel, the new Kaspersky Lab’s solution utilises well-established principles of security-driven development such as Separation Kernel, Reference Monitor, Multiple Independent Levels of Security and the Flux Advanced Security Kernel architecture. KasperskyOS was designed with specific industries in mind and thus not only solves security issues, but also addresses organisational and business challenges related to secure application development for embedded systems.

Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, comments; “We understood from the very beginning that designing our own operating system would be a huge undertaking – a project that would require vast resources for many years before it could be commercialised. Today we see clear demand for strengthened security in critical infrastructure, telecoms and the finance industry, as well as in both consumer and industrial IoT devices. In the beginning it was a risky investment that no other security vendor had the courage to conduct. But today, thanks to our efforts, we have a product that provides the maximum possible level of immunity against cyberattacks – a product based on principles that can be verified independently”.

The deployment flexibility

KasperskyOS is not a general-purpose operating system. It is designed for, and meets the requirements of, embedded devices and is aimed at three key industries: telecommunication, automotive and industrial. In addition, Kaspersky Lab is also developing deployment packages for the financial industry (security of POS-terminals and thin client PS) and the security enhancement of critical operations for general-purpose Linux-based systems and endpoints in particular. Ease of deployment is achieved with three packages implementing certain features of KasperskyOS.

KasperskyOS itself offers maximum security, although its requirements bring an extra challenge to a customer’s development process. It can be used as a base on which to build devices like network routers, IP cameras or IoT controllers. It addresses the needs of the telecom industry, critical infrastructure applications and the emerging development of the Internet of Things.

Kaspersky Secure Hypervisor at a slightly reduced cost, Kaspersky Secure Hypervisor makes it possible to execute applications with strict control over how they communicate with each other. It addresses the needs of telecoms, the automotive industry and can also be used for general security purposes, up to the secure operation of endpoints.

Kaspersky Security System brings enforced security to conventional operating systems as well as other embedded and real-time OS with minimal development overheads.

Andrey Nikishin, Head of Future Technologies Business Development, comments; “There is no such thing as 100% security, but KasperskyOS guarantees our customers the first 99%. Technically speaking, in a really complex environment, attempts to inject a certain code in our system cannot be successful. Our advantage is that, since any malicious operation is undocumented by the security policy, being an integral part of any application, the payload will never be executed. KasperskyOS is therefore immune from the typical cyberthreat agenda of today.”

Availability:

KasperskyOS is available for OEMs, ODMs, systems integrators and software developers around the world. Successful projects have already been conducted with Russia’s system integrator Kraftway (secure network router), SYSGO (strengthened security for PikeOS real-time operating system with Kaspersky Security System) and European systems integrator BE.services (embedding KasperskyOS technology in specialised Programmable Logic Controllers). As a unique project, that is tailored for every customer, the pricing of KasperskyOS varies depending on requirements.

More information about KasperskyOS, Kaspersky Secure Hypervisor and Kaspersky Security System, as well as contact information for potential customers is available on a dedicated website.

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Get your passwords in shape

New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.

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Many of us have entered the new year with a boat load of New Year’s resolutions.  Doing more exercise, fixing unhealthy eating habits and saving more money are all highly respectable goals, but could it be that they don’t go far enough in an era with countless apps and sites that scream for letting them help you reach your personal goals.

Now, you may want to add a few weightier and yet effortless habits on top of those well-worn choices. Here are a handful of tips for ‘exercises’ that will go good for your cyber-fitness.

I won’t pass up on stubborn passwords

Passwords have a bad rap, and deservedly so: they suffer from weaknesses, both in terms of security and convenience, that make them a less-than-ideal method of authentication.  However, much of what the internet offers is independent on your singing up for this or that online service, and the available form of authentication almost universally happens to the username/password combination.

As the keys that open online accounts (not to speak of many devices), passwords are often rightly thought of as the first – alas, often only – line of defence that protects your virtual and real assets from intruders. However, passwords don’t offer much in the way of protection unless, in the first place, they’re strong and unique to each device and account.

But what constitutes a strong password?  A passphrase! Done right, typical passphrases are generally both more secure and more user-friendly than typical passwords. The longer the passphrase and the more words it packs the better, with seven words providing for a solid start. With each extra character (not to mention words), the number of possible combinations rises exponentially, which makes simple brute-force password-cracking attacks far less likely to succeed, if not well-nigh impossible (assuming, of course, that the service in question does not impose limitations on password input length – something that is, sadly, far too common).

Click here to read about making secure passwords by not using dictionary words, using two-factor authentication, and how biometrics are coming to web browsers.

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Code Week prepares 2.3m young Africans for future

By SUNIL GENESS, Director Government Relations & CSR, Global Digital Government, at SAP Africa.

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On January 6th, 2019, news broke of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to announce a new approach to education in his second State of the Nation address, including:

  • A universal roll-out of tablets for all pupils in the country’s 23 700 primary and secondary schools
  • Computer coding and robotics classes for the foundation-phase pupils from grade 1-3 and the
  • Digitisation of the entire curriculum, , including textbooks, workbooks and all teacher support material.

With this, the President has shown South Africa’s response to a global challenge: equipping our youth with the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century digital economy.

Africa’s working-age population will increase to 600 million in 2030 from a base of 370 million in 2010.

In South Africa, unemployment stands at 26.7 percent, but is much more pronounced among youths: 52.2 percent of the country’s 15-24-year-olds are looking for work.

As an organisation deeply invested in South Africa and its future, SAP has developed and implemented a range of initiatives aimed at fostering digital skills development among the country’s youth, including:

AFRICA CODE WEEK

Since its launch in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced more than 4 million African youth to basic coding.

In 2018, more than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries took part in Africa Code Week.

The digital skills development initiative’s focus on building local capacity for sustainable learning resulted in close to 23 000 teachers being trained in the run-up to the October 2018 events.

Vital to the success of Africa Code Week is the close support it receives from a broad spectrum of public and private sector institutions, including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

SAP’s efforts to drive digital skills development on the African continent forms part of a broader organisational commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 (“Ensure quality and inclusive education for all”)

A core component of Africa Code Week is to encourage female participation in STEM-related skills development activities: in 2018, more than 46% of all Africa Code Week participants were female.

According to Africa Code Week Global Coordinator Sunil Geness, female representation in STEM-related fields among African businesses currently stands at 30%, “requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success”.

Click here to read more about the Skills for Africa graduate training programme, and about the LEGO League.

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