While Internet connectivity in the home is now mainstream, gateway security to protect users is not. It's a gap that startup Itus Networks is aiming to address with a Linux-powered home gateway device called the iGuardian. Before Itus can deliver the iGuardian though, the company needs to raise $125,000 on crowdfunding site Kickstarter in order to build the device. The Kickstarter campaign ends on Sept. 12, and as of Aug. 19, $61,000 has been raised.
"What we saw is a huge gap between what consumers are being offered today and what is needed," Jock Breitwieser, co-founder of Itus Networks told eWEEK.
Breitwieser noted that antivirus technologies are only protecting one endpoint machine, leaving other elements of a home network potentially still at risk. Among the elements of a home network that can often be left unprotected is the user's own home router, which Breitwieser said can be easily hacked.
As the Internet of things becomes a reality and home users begin to have Internet-connected devices like thermostats, lights, TVs and garage door controllers, there is a real need to provide gateway security for all of those devices. The iGuardian gateway security box is a Linux-powered device that will include a firewall and the open-source Snort Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) among its features to defend home networks.
As to why Itus Networks is looking to Kickstarter to fund its device, there are a number of reasons. Daniel Ayoub, co-founder of Itus Networks, told eWEEK that many startups will chase venture capitalists for money instead of spending time developing a product. He added that right now the plan for Itus Networks is to really focus on developing the product itself.
The practical purpose of the Kickstarter campaign is all about helping Itus Networks meet the manufacturing costs of the iGuardian device.
"In order to build the device cheaply so we can make it affordable for everyone, we needed a minimum order quantity of a thousand pieces," Ayoub said."Kickstarter is a way to do some market validation tests and also to help ensure we can meet our target manufacturing quota."
Itus Networks is looking to raise $125,000 on Kickstarter, which Ayoub said would be the break-even point for building the device.
Both Ayoub and Breitwieser previously worked at network security vendor SonicWall, which was acquiredby Dell in 2012. At SonicWall, the two gained insight into the threat landscape and the technology components used to defend against attacks. Part of that experience is now reflected in the design of the iGuardian, with components that have been specifically included in order to optimize security inspection.
"The type of processor being used in the (iGuardian) box is really the same type of processor that you will find being used in large enterprise gear," Ayoub said.
The iGuardian is not leveraging general-purpose Intel x86 silicon, but rather is using a Cavium Octeon III chip. Ayoub explained that the Octeon chip has been designed for network security applications and includes a hardware acceleration module for deep packet inspection.
"We're really on a mission here; we really want to change the paradigm of how security in the home is seen," Breitwieser said. "There are a lot of elements that we are offering that have been available, but have never been put together."
Watch the full view interview with the Itus Networks co-founders below:
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.