June 03, 2008
Mocana NanoUpdate Delivers Secure Firmware Updates to Remote Devices
To ensure device security and functionality with automatic, digitally signed updates, Mocana (News - Alert), a software company that delivers embedded security for non-PC devices, today announced general availability of “NanoUpdate,” a secure firmware update solution specifically designed for device platforms.
Mocana NanoUpdate allows manufacturers of any connected device to issue digitally-signed firmware updates to devices in the field, company officials say.
With the help of heterogeneous platforms, Mocana NanoUpdate automates the process of updating firmware on connected devices, company officials say. NanoUpdate eliminates user errors during the installation of updates and patches that can render a device inoperable, according to the company. It also makes it quicker and simpler for manufacturers to communicate critical updates and new services to users, they say, providing advantages such as flexibility, security, robustness and control.
The firmware isn’t traditionally hard-coded and it is not changed, according to Mocana. It is now possible to update firmware to correct programming errors or even add new capabilities and services to extend the life of hardware products, they say – but this has proven to be tough for the customer.
Earlier, the consumer had to manually log into the manufacturers’ Web site, select the correct update for a particular device and follow technical procedures to install the new code. This leaves many customers without the updates and leaves the device vulnerable to serious malware and “bricking” attacks, company officials say.
While secure software updates have been available for PC and Mac platforms for some time, the device world has not. According to Forrester (News - Alert), the number of devices connected to the Internet will skyrocket to more than 14 billion by 2010 – with 95 percent of those being something other than a PC. To make these devices work, manufacturers will need to provide an easy, reliable way to issue trusted updates to the core computing program (firmware), according to the company.
“To keep pace in the hyper competitive market of devices, manufacturers must ensure the highest quality-of-service. PC & Mac software manufacturers have known for years that if one has to ask the end-user to reliably find and manually install updates critical to the device’s function, quality-of-service will suffer,” said Adrian Turner (News - Alert), chief executive officer of Mocana. “Now that’s becoming a real problem in the device market. With NanoUpdate, finally device manufacturers can issue the patches and updates that will keep their devices functional and up-to-date. By removing the human element – whether that’s error, neglect or simple procrastination – manufacturers are assured that their devices are secured and operating at their peak on a common code base.”
Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raju’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
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