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M2Mi wins federal contract for IoT security initiative

Geoff Barnard

Machine-to-Machine Intelligence (M2Mi) Corporation, a leading supplier of Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications and technologies including the award winning M2Mi Intelligence® platform, today announced that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded M2Mi a multi-phase development contract under the Homeland Security Innovation Program (HSIP) for a next-generation ultra secure IoT Security Suite for devices, platforms and browsers. M2Mi will open source the IoT Security Suite allowing any organization to use it.

Security is the major challenge for the IoT market and is continually highlighted by industry analysts, major corporations and IoT device manufacturers as an issue preventing progress. A recent Gartner report identified the top 10 IoT technologies for 2017 and 2018*. IoT Security is on that list. According to Gartner, IoT introduces a wide range of new security risks and challenges to the IoT devices themselves, their platforms and operating systems, their communications, and even the systems to which they're connected. We believe the problem is contributed to by many IoT devices being small form factor and with only constrained resources available to implement a security capability.

"A recurring theme in the IoT space is the immaturity of technologies and services and of the vendors providing them. Architecting for this immaturity and managing the risk it creates will be a key challenge for organizations exploiting the IoT,” said Nick Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.*

M2Mi, which has ten years of experience in M2M and IoT and award winning security credentials, will be addressing these issues by developing an IoT Security Suite based on open source encryption technologies from the National Security Agency (NSA) and on prior security work done between M2Mi and NSA. The resulting IoT Security Suite will be half the size of existing solutions, will be more than twice as fast and will consume less than half the power making it the first comprehensive IoT specific solution that is also aimed at constrained devices.

In a significant step aimed at removing the costs normally associated with adding strong security to IoT devices and networks, M2Mi will be releasing the IoT Security Suite under the Apache Open Source license making it freely available to any organization.

M2Mi will also be incorporating the IoT Security Suite into the M2Mi Intelligence platform delivering state-of-the-art security and encryption for M2Mi Intelligence platform users.

The HSIP is engaging and the tech community to fund innovative startups to solve challenges shared by homeland security and commercial investors. By leveraging private sector investments, the HSIP aims to accelerate the transition of new technological solutions into operational use by DHS and other users in the Homeland Security Enterprise.

“We have many years of expertise in security technologies and solutions having worked closely with NASA and the NSA” said Geoffrey Barnard, CEO of M2Mi “We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract by DHS and will be using this expertise to build the IoT Security Suite which we will open source. Accelerated by our background, skills and knowledge in security, and how urgently the IoT security problem needs to be addressed, we expect the resulting suite to be available in a matter of months”.

The IoT Security Suite will consist of code, samples and documentation, as well as on-ramp bindings for Amazon Web Services and the GE Predix Industrial Internet Cloud Services. Once this work is completed, anyone developing software that runs on IoT devices will be able to use this open source package to introduce encryption.

*Gartner, Top 10 IoT Technologies for 2017 and 2018, Nick Jones, 22 January 2016

About the IoT Security Suite

The IoT Security Suite incorporates state-of-the-art encryption developed by the NSA. The Speck protocol (part of the Simon & Speck cryptographic suite) was released into the public domain by NSA through open source in 2013, the ciphers have had over two years of peer reviews and testing to show their robustness, high speed, and low resource utilization making them ideal for IoT. In addition, the ciphers have been designed to operate effectively from very small devices right up to and including datacenter servers making them the perfect cross-device and cross-platform security and encryption solution unlike many existing commercial options. The IoT Security Suite is designed to handle security across devices, networks and browsers and to be free to anyone wishing to use it. As well as a C software implementation of the Speck Protocol, M2Mi will deliver Java, CLI and WebService API libraries, bindings for AWS and GE Predix Cloud, Graphical User Interfaces, test harnesses for six different crypto use cases, and a software implementation of Speck for web browsers along with documentation and test scripts.


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