Chip-giant Intel invests in mobile and smart device security company Mocana to expand its development work on hardware-based security.
Capital, the chip giant's global investment organization is investing
in mobile device security vendor Mocana, Adrian Turner, CEO of Mocana,
investment is part of a strategic partnership between the two companies to
collaborate on both hardware and software security, Mocana said Sept. 1. Mocana
declined to discuss the specific amount Intel invested.
is critical in the new smart device markets, or the "Internet of Things,"
Mocana officials said. The "Internet of Things" refers to the growing
market for smartphones, medical devices, industrial automation systems,
sensors, smart grid and meters, automotive systems, connected home appliances
and consumer electronics, retail point-of-sale systems, among others, according
to Turner. Connected devices represent a $900 billion hardware, software and
services ecosystem. These devices are a challenge to secure because of issues
unique to these devices, Mocana said.
investment is "a really great validation" for Mocana's security
approach for the smartphone and other devices, Turner said. Mocana protects
both the hardware and applications and services running through a combination
of software on the device and cloud-based services, according to Turner.
has made no secret of the fact that it is interested in baking security into
to block both known and unknown threats. Most customers aren't implementing
the various security components already built into Intel chips, George Kurtz,
executive vice president and worldwide CTO of McAfee, said at the company's
Focus conference in Melbourne, Australia earlier this month.
has already partnered with Symantec and Vasco to work on an identity protection
technology for Intel's Core i3, i5 and i7 processors that generate one-time
passwords similar to how security keychain fobs work.
expects "over time" to be working with Intel's silicon group as well
as the software groups, including McAfee, Turner said. However, he had
"nothing specific to discuss" regarding the kind of work Mocana would
be doing with McAfee or about the kind of products that would result from the
collaboration. The partnership will be about enhancing the existing Mocana
portfolio as well as developing next-generation security products, said Turner.
industry is moving toward device-centric computing, where "everything
that has a CPU and power supply is connected to the network," Turner said.
The only way to secure the "world we are moving towards" is through a
combination of software, services and hardware, according to Turner.
absolutely necessary to have some features built into the silicon,"
Turner said. Otherwise, the unprotected systems on the network can expose other
parts of the network to attack.
highlighted the importance of security in industrial control systems
is already in talks with various companies to put security features
medical and diagnostic systems, Turner said. A recent directive from
the Food & Drug Administration required that all connected devices
"patchable" to get new firmware updates.
understands how important in-depth defenses are for devices and will be able to
"position them well," Turner said. The "right" security and
information management platform would give customers the confidence to go
online and conduct transactions securely and automate device-enabled business
processes at an unprecedented scale, Turner said.
special expertise in securing devices and the information that runs across them
will be crucial to the success of the Internet of Things, especially in the
mobile domain," said Dave Flanagan, managing director of Intel Capital.
in San Francisco since its launch in 2004, Mocana is a closely held firm. More than
150 companies have licensed Mocana's Device Security technology, Turner said.
Mocana's software and cloud-services are currently protecting a range of
products including Android smartphones for consumers, smart-grid infrastructure
devices for utilities, medical devices and unmanned aerial vehicles, the
has received a strategic investment from Symantec in the past and funding from
institutional investors Shasta Venture Capital and Southern Cross Venture Partners.
and consumers expect simple and secure access to information and services
regardless of what device they are using, and security is critical to
"preserving" that trust as managed and unmanaged devices connect to
the Internet, said Charlie Rice vice president of corporate development
at Symantec and a member of Mocana's board.