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F-Secure to offer a security solution for the Internet of Things

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November 12, 2015

It looks like F-Secure wishes to improve consumer internet security with the launch of a new anti-hacker appliance, this time designed specifically for the Internet of Things.

Officially called SENSE, the new device works as a secure gateway, policing traffic to devices that might be insecure and generating specific alerts.

For example, it will warn users if their router is running with insecure, factory default settings, and therefore with a more easily hackable password.

Insecure internet hubs and potentially 'snoopy' smart TVs are characteristic of the generally lamentable state of IoT security.

SENSE won’t repair problems such as weak crypto or default passwords directly, but it will mitigate against the risk of malware-infected hubs on a home network attempting to contact botnet control servers. The new device will also offer control over UPnP.

“Patching light bulbs is not going to happen,” said F-Secure chief exec Christian Fredrikson on a humoristic tone. “With SENSE, you don’t have to worry if your smart TV is secure or not.”

Samu Konttinen, F-Secure’s executive vice president of consumer security added-- “We’ve all seen some footage from nanny cams streamed online without people’s knowledge or consent, and it’s been proven that intruders can use something as simple as a connected light bulb to get access to people’s homes.”

F-Secure is well known for its mobile security software, where it has successfully used operators to sell on its security suites. The Finnish company plans to use the same network of 200 operators, alongside other channels including its own website, to sell SENSE.

The new device is due to ship in March or April of next year. The technology, which is designed for ease of set-up and use, is designed to protect smart homes, and combines unique hardware and software to offer a single source of protection for all of the devices in homes, including PCs, tablets and smartphones, as well as newer IoT products.

The product uses F-Secure’s Security Cloud system to filter internet traffic going in and out of homes, and allows people to manage the security of their network and devices with a simple mobile app.

In response to a moribund consumer security software market, F-Secure is moving on from selling consumers downloads to protect computers and smartphones individually to selling a unified home security appliance, with recurring revenues through subscription to software update services.

The hardware and software, as well as a one-year subscription to the service, is priced at about US $110. Monthly subscriptions can be renewed for about US $8.50 per month.

The technology was launched during a keynote address at the Slush startup conference in Helsinki yesterday.

Source: F-Secure.

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