IOT News Roundup

ARM, HP each purchase encryption software companies; machine-to-machine standards finalized; Sigfox scores major funding; SecureRF configures its cryptography solution for IoT devices.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Feb 13, 2015

ARM Acquires Dutch Data Security Firm Offspark
Chipmaker ARM announced this week that it has purchased Offspark, a maker of security software designed for devices used in the Internet of Things. (The purchase was actually made late last year, according to the Offspark website.) The acquisition means that ARM will market Offspark's PolarSSL software, a widely deployed solution for encrypting data transmitted between embedded devices, such as sensor or communication modules using transport layer security—a protocol designed to thwart a third party from eavesdropping or tampering with communication between a server and a client, available to its customers. PolarSSL will be available to users of ARM's processors and its mbed platform for designing and building IoT products.

HP Buying Voltage Security
Hewlett Packard is purchasing data security firm Voltage Security, which offers data-encryption software and other security tools for payments systems, messaging and large databases. Voltage Security will become part of HP's Atalla business arm, which develops information security and encryption solutions. The purchase price has not been disclosed, and the transaction, according to a post on Voltage's website, is expected to close during the first half of HP's fiscal year 2015.

oneM2M Releases First Set of Ratified Standards
Standards organization oneM2M last week announced that it has issued its first set of global standards, Release 1, which is a set of 10 publicly available specifications describing functional architecture requirements, application programming interface (API) specifications, security solutions and how to use common industry software and connectivity protocols, such as CoAP, MQTT and HTTP. According to oneM2M, more that 200 member companies and organizations contributed to Release 1's development, including several major information and communications technology (ICT) standards groups from the United States, Europe and Asia. The standard is designed to provide a framework by which developers of M2M and Internet of Things solutions and services can ensure service-layer interoperability between products. Within an intelligent or cellular network, a service layer provides functions such as generating data, while interoperability ensures that such functions from multiple software providers work together within an M2M system.

The standard also references device-management specifications developed by the Open Mobile Alliance and the Broadband Forum. These specifications describe protocols for transmitting data between hardware devices in an M2M deployment. Along with the Release 1 standards, oneM2M has also released a white paper that, according to the group, serves as an overview of the issues facing the M2M and IoT markets, as well as a roadmap for how oneM2M will contribute to solving them.

Sigfox Raises Recording-Breaking $115 Million
Sigfox, a French company that sells wireless sensor network solutions based on ultra-narrowband (UNB) technology—which uses very narrow slices of the unlicensed industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) frequency band to connect two-way communication devices over long distances, and with low battery consumption—has announced that it has raised a $115 million round of financing from a wide range of investors from Europe and the United States, including mobile telecommunications companies, utility providers and venture capital firms. Sigfox has deployed its technology for smart city and security applications in France, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. It has said that it will soon roll out a network in the United States as well, and that it plans to use the funding—the largest recorded for a French company, surpassing the $100 million record set last year by French car-share firm BlaBlaCar—to grow its operations into new markets, including in Asia.

Sigfox is part of a growing number of companies developing low-throughput, long-range RF communications networks to power IoT applications.

SecureRF Announces Cryptography for IoT Devices
SecureRF, the developer of Algebraic Eraser, a type of public key cryptography that erases data an attacker could use to try to break an encryption, has announced a new iteration of Algebraic Eraser designed for embedded chips and sensors used in Internet of Things applications. The new version, known as Algebraic Eraser for IoT, can be integrated into field-programmable gate arrays (chips used for custom hardware functionality in industrial systems), application-specific integrated circuits (used, for example, to collect sensor data in a wearable medical device) and ARM's Cortex-M family of processors, commonly used in IoT devices.

According to SecureRF, when compared to the industry-standard Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) used at a 128-bit security level, the Algebraic Eraser is 60 times more efficient in terms of data-transmission rates, power consumption and computational power. SecureRF began marketing its Algebraic Eraser in 2005, promoting it as a way to secure data transmissions between RFID tags and readers.

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