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Mobile Phones UK Authors: OnPage Blog, Yeshim Deniz, Mat Rider, Valeriia Timokhina, Jayaram Krishnaswamy

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Mocana NanoUpdate(TM) Delivers Secure Firmware Updates to Remote Devices

Automatic, Digitally Signed Updates Ensure Device Security and Functionality

Mocana, a software company that delivers comprehensive embedded security for non-PC devices attached to the network, today announced general availability of NanoUpdate™ a secure firmware update solution specifically designed for device platforms. With Mocana NanoUpdate, manufacturers of any connected device – from pacemakers to printers to DVRs – can automatically issue digitally-signed firmware updates to devices in the field. With NanoUpdate, Mocana’s customers can ensure the integrity of their software updates and, in turn, be assured that the device will operate correctly. Developers may request a free source code evaluation of NanoUpdate at www.mocana.com/evaluate.html. With the release of this product, Mocana also launches a product-line rebranding campaign that ties together the elements of Mocana’s patented Device Security Framework and better signals the company’s core product benefits.

While secure software updates have been available for PC and Mac platforms for some time, trusted update technology has been relatively rare in the device world. But now that Forrester predicts the number of devices connected to the Internet will skyrocket to over 14 billion by 2010 – with 95 percent of these being something other than a PC-- manufacturers need an easy, reliable way to issue trusted updates to the core computing program (firmware) that makes these devices work.

Traditionally, firmware was hard-coded and wasn’t ever changed. To extend the life of hardware products, manufacturers have now made it possible to update firmware to correct programming errors or even add new capabilities and services. But this has proven to be tough on the consumer. The most common approach to update firmware on a device was for the consumer to manually log into the manufacturers’ Web site, select the correct update for a particular device and follow some pretty technical procedures to install the new code. Because of the difficulty and the hassle, users – even sophisticated enterprise customers – have opted out of device updates, often leaving their devices with old, out-of-date code at best…vulnerable to serious malware and “bricking” attacks at worst.

Mocana NanoUpdate automates the entire process of updating firmware on legions of connected devices with heterogeneous platforms. In addition to making it faster and easier for manufacturers to communicate critical updates and new services to users, NanoUpdate eliminates user errors during the installation of updates and patches which can render a device inoperable, and result in expensive calls to the support center. Other key features include:

  • Flexibility: Mocana NanoUpdate can be used for wired or wireless applications, working in both local and roaming environments. It is the only secure firmware update solution that works with any device, regardless of operating system.
  • Security: Mocana NanoUpdate allows the manufacturer to digitally sign all updates that get sent to users’ devices. The device reads the signature and verifies that code a) actually came from the manufacturer (and not a hacker masquerading as the manufacturer); and b) has not been modified to include malware, trojans or other malicious code.
  • Robustness: Mocana NanoUpdate can be used reliably even in environments with frequent network disruptions. If there is a disruption in service on the device during retrieval of a code update, the NanoUpdate will seamlessly recover and resume without consequence when service is restored.
  • Control: Mocana NanoUpdate allows device makers to roll out changes in an extremely granular, controlled manner. For example, manufacturers can set up any number of beta tests in any combination of controlled subgroups before rolling out code to the general population.

“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, CEO of Mocana. “Now that’s becoming a real problem in the device market. With NanoUpdate, finally device manufacturers have the power to automatically issue the patches and updates that will keep their devices functional and up-to-date. By removing the human element – whether it be error, neglect or simple procrastination – manufacturers are assured that their devices are secured and operating at their peak on a common code base.”

Mocana NanoUpdate is part of the company’s Device Security Framework™, which offers a unified, end-to-end approach to embedded device security management by authenticating devices and device applications to the network; securing communications between devices and resources; and by enabling reliable, secure firmware updates. Elements of Mocana’s Device Security Framework are characterized by their easy implementation, mix-and-match interoperability, small memory footprint and high scalability and performance. Applications in the Device Security Framework, now branded with a “Nano” prefix, are extremely portable, working across more than 15 operating systems and 50 CPU’s, making it an ideal choice for securing heterogeneous networks of connected devices.

Pricing and Availability

Mocana NanoUpdate is now available to all customers, and developers can register for a free source code evaluation at www.mocana.com/evaluate.html For pricing and purchase information, please [email protected] or call 866-213-1273.

About Mocana

Recently named one of Red Herring’s “Top 100 Privately-Held Technology Companies in North America,” Mocana securely enables Internet-scale applications and services for connected devices. Mocana's industry-leading infrastructure software solutions ensure that wired and wireless devices, networks and services perform and scale with the utmost security – a necessary foundation for a networked society. Customers include Philips, Dell, Cisco, Nortel Networks, Harris, Honeywell, Symbol, Net.com and Radvision, among others. Mocana was founded in 2002, is privately held, and headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company has been recognized with numerous awards including the Red Herring 100 and Frost & Sullivan’s Innovation of the Year. For more information, visit www.mocana.com.

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