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Microsoft ups IoT security with Azure Sphere

(Image credit: Image Credit: StockStudio / Shutterstock)

Microsoft is aiming to better secure IoT devices (opens in new tab) with the announcement of Azure Sphere at RSA 2018 which will allow device manufacturers to create highly-secured, Internet-connected microcontroller (MCU) devices. 

Azure Sphere (opens in new tab) is made up of three components that work together to protect and power devices at the edge. 

Azure Sphere certified microcontrollers (MCUs) are a new cross-over class of MCUs that combine real-time and application processors with built-in Microsoft security technology and connectivity. Each chip also contains custom silicon security technology from the company based on 15 years of experience with Xbox (opens in new tab) that help secure this new class of MCUs and the devices they will power. 

Azure Sphere OS is an operating system built from the ground up to offer unequalled security and agility.  Microsoft's new OS will offer multiple layers of security by combining security innovations from Windows, a security monitor and a custom Linux kernel. Together these three parts create a highly-secured software environment that provides businesses with a trustworthy platform on which they can build new IoT experiences. 

Azure Sphere Security Service is a turnkey cloud service that protects every Azure Sphere device. The service utilises certificate-based authentication to allow for devices-to-device and device-to-cloud communication. It is also able to detect emerging security threats across the entire Azure Sphere ecosystem thanks to online failure reporting and software updates will keep its security up to date. 

Currently Azure Sphere is in private preview and dev kits will be made available during mid-2018 with products powered by the new technology expected to be on shelves by the end of the year. 

Image Credit: StockStudio / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
Anthony Spadafora

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.