VDOO's New Agent For IoT Devices Provides Tailored Endpoint Security


After raising $13 million from Dell and other investors a year ago, Internet of Things startup VDOO has launched new agent software for connected devices that automatically tailors security features based on each device's specifications and vulnerabilities.

The Embedded Runtime Agent, also called ERA, launched on Monday, giving device manufacturers and systems integrators an end-to-end solution for securing internet-connected devices, which number in the tens of millions worldwide, ranging from medical devices to video cameras, and face cyber-threats that can steal data or even bring the internet to a halt, as the device-controlling Mirai botnet did in 2016.

"The reality today is most of these device vendors are not taking security seriously enough," Alon Levin, vice president of product management at VDOO, told CRN.

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The agent is an extension of VDOO's Vision analysis platform, which analyzes the firmware of connected devices to identify vulnerabilities and provide recommendations for improving device security. With the launch of ERA, VDOO can now use the results of the analysis platform to provide connected devices with security policies that are automatically tailored to each device's unique characteristics.

Levin said ERA is meant to fill a gap in the spectrum of security products currently on the market that address connected device security in other ways, such as firewalls and network access control.

"One of the things that is making it hard for IoT endpoint protection is the fact that the space is so diverse," Levin said. "There are so many IoT attributes, components, [system-on-chips] and other hardware components, that it is hard to create an agent that is a one-size-fits-all."

The agent is designed to protect against different kinds of threats, including system file deletion and modification, command injection attacks and execution of external code. The agent also detects suspicious network activity and configuration, as well as excessive usage of system resources. These different kinds of protections, which VDOO calls Guards, are meant to provide IoT devices with multi-layer security that stops attackers at different stages of an attack.

Once the agent is installed, it can provide alerts or provide alerts and prevent malicious activity. Levin said the former is offered as an option in case device manufacturers and system integrators want to handle threat response in a different manner.

ERA, which gets deployed as part of the device's firmware, works with x86- and Arm-based devices running Linux, with plans to eventually support the Android and FreeRTOS operating systems, and it has a small footprint, only requiring about 1 MB of storage, less than 1 percent of CPU power and less than 30 MB of memory.

While VDOO is mainly targeting device manufacturers and systems integrators that will begin using the Tel Aviv-based company's software solutions during the design phase, the company's products also work with existing IoT devices for companies that want to improve their security.

"One of our leading messages and beliefs is it's never too late to make a change," Levin said.

It's up to the device manufacturer or system integrator as to which party ends up managing VDOO's agent software, Levin said, which means that there could be an opportunity for managed service providers to handle the service.

"There are things today that could be proposed as a service from a service provider," Levin said.