There’s no doubt that software vendors and device manufacturers realize that the connected world of the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to turn the software licensing world upside down. As more and more devices get connected, not only will new license models be required, but completely new business models and strategies will be needed to enable vendors to monetize their software and maximize the revenues they are entitled to within this changing connected environment.
Software licensing vendors, of course, recognize the importance of licensing flexibility and are scrambling to address this critical concern. But, while everyone is talking about developing a new breed of licensing schemes, there seems to be one very important factor that is being overlooked by some, and that is license security and protection of intellectual property in the ongoing battle with the hacker community. What’s the point of delivering flexible licensing solutions if a hacker can easily spoof the license by simply replacing a file. Or even worse if the hacker can access the executable file and steal code or tamper with and manipulate the code of the executable.
Jessica Grooopman, a Senior Researcher at Altimeter Group, noted in a recent article in Wearable World News, that “Spam marks an important — alas, inevitable — milestone in the evolution of smart appliances and IoT. These devices are often full-featured computers unto themselves, meaning they are at risk of all of the horrific attacks we’ve seen before with traditional computers.”
“Wireless, connected devices are a relatively new platform type, meaning they are intrinsically less mature than their laptop, desktop, and wired network predecessors. The existing security in these devices is often low, or even null. Many of these devices also lack the basic fortitudes we’ve come to know in laptops, like anti-virus programs and manufacturer security updates,” she added.
Proofpoint, Inc, a leading security-as-a-service provider, noted in a press release that it had “uncovered what may be the first proven Internet of Things (IoT)-based cyberattack involving conventional household “smart” appliances. The global attack campaign involved more than 750,000 malicious email communications coming from more than 100,000 everyday consumer gadgets such as home-networking routers, connected multi-media centers, televisions and at least one refrigerator that had been compromised and used as a platform to launch attacks. As the number of such connected devices is expected to grow to more than four times the number of connected computers in the next few years according to media reports, proof of an IoT-based attack has significant security implications for device owners and Enterprise targets.”
I wrote about the potential similar security issues in my December 2012 article entitled “Maximizing revenues: What is software monetization without security?”
The same points I made in 2012 also apply to secure licensing for devices in the IoT. Not many vendors can talk about delivering licensing flexibility as well as licensing security and IP protection like Wibu-Systems can. Our CodeMeter licensing and protection solution has built-in licensing flexibility and the most secure license and IP protection scheme on the market today. Here’s how we do it:
- Protect your intellectual property with strong 128 Bit AES encryption.
- Secure your licenses with encryption utilizing 224 Bit ECC (Elliptical Curve Cryptography).
- Provide the option for public / private key exchange using 2048 bit RSA.
- Utilize a smart card chip for our full line-up of CmDongles
- Provide secure boot and integrity protection capabilities
The IoT is about to expand dramatically and the security risks are real. We’re here to help software vendors and device manufacturers mitigate the risks.