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February 22, 2017

New KasperskyOS offers IoT protection after 15 year wait

Eugene Kaspersky: ‘The key advantage of our operating system is its practical, accessible nature'.

By Tom Ball

The 15 year wait is over with Kaspersky Lab finally releasing its new operating system, designed to protect Internet of Things (IoT) devices, network devices and industrial control systems. Developed without a pre-existing base, KasperskyOS is a secure-by-design environment for embedded and IoT systems with strict cyber security requirements.

Now available to OEMs, ODMs, system integrators and software developers, the OS has been been designed to allow programs to execute only documented applications.

Due to this design, KasperskyOS significantly reduces the chances of undocumented functionality and therefore mitigates the risk of cyberattacks. Talking about the 15-year journey, from concept to market, Kaspersky Lab’s Andrey Doukhvalov said:

“The idea behind KasperskyOS emerged 15 years ago when a small team of experts discussed an approach that would make it impossible to execute undocumented functionality. Further research revealed that such a design is very hard to implement in the environment of a conventional, general-purpose operating system.

“To address this we chose build our own OS that follows the universally embraced rules of secure development, but also introduces many unique features, making it not only secure, but also relatively easy to deploy in applications where protection is needed the most”.

KasperskyOS is not a general-purpose operating system and has been designed to meet the requirements of embedded devices in three key industries – telecoms, automotive and industrial. There are plans to introduce packages for the financial industry, as well as general-purpose Linux-based systems and endpoints.

 

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Kaspersky

Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said: “Our OS started way back in the days when viruses were the most serious cybersecurity problem – long before complex attacks on industrial systems emerged and there was total dependence on computer systems in every aspect of our lives. Back then, the concept of ‘security without limits’ was certainly not on the agenda of the growing IT crowd.

“We understood from the very beginning that designing our own operating system would be a huge undertaking – a project that would require vast resources for many years before it could be commercialised. Today we see clear demand for strengthened security in critical infrastructure, telecoms and the finance industry, as well as in both consumer and industrial IoT devices.

“In the beginning it was a risky investment that no other security vendor had the courage to conduct. But today, thanks to our efforts, we have a product that provides the maximum possible level of immunity against cyberattacks – a product based on principles that can be verified independently”.

The risks posed by unsecure IoT devices and other threats were deemed severe enough by the UK Government to implement an online cyber awareness campaign. Despite this, a recent IoT security whitepaper by Canonical, found that 48% of UK citizens were unaware that devices such as smart appliances could create an entry point for a cyber-attack.

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