Concept: Israeli security startup Karamba Security (Karamba) has unveiled IoT and automotive security platform to secure connected vehicles and IoT devices. Its embedded security solution, the ‘XGuard platform,’ can automatically encapsulate an IoT device and prevent attempts made to disrupt its intended functionality. Karamba’s software protects connected devices throughout their lifecycles, from development through production, without any hardware or R&D change requirements.

Nature of Disruption: XGuard suite provides self-protection against remote code execution and malware deployments. The software allows customers to comply with the new UN R155 guideline, identify and prevent cyber-attacks on their devices without having to change their R&D or validation processes. It can detect all legitimate binaries, including executable files, and automatically tightens the system based on the results. The platform can also generate a function calling graph that includes all function calls and returns. It delivers in-depth forensics of attack attempts, reducing root cause analysis time. XGuard’s patented middleware abstracts the integration layer to the chip and OS layers, allowing the security platform to be CPU (central processing unit) and OS (operating system) agnostic. This allows for the addition of new OS and chip platforms to the supported environments with minimal effort. Built-in checks in the Karamba XGuard platform can prevent binaries from being modified or functions from being removed. During the software development lifecycle, it requires no developer intervention or upgrades. Karamba XGuard is compatible with both off-the-shelf and custom-built environments. It can record and report extensive root cause analysis details to security forensics professionals, allowing code owners to detect vulnerabilities that hackers try to exploit. The platform is designed for embedded devices, and the automatic full-image analysis claims to offer runtime protection with less than 5% CPU cost and a 10% increase in disc image size.

Outlook: Cyberattacks on IoT devices and connected vehicles have resulted in stringent regulatory requirements on a national and individual level. Manufacturers of IoT devices and automobile Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) face an urgent need to comply with such requirements without altering their R&D processes, delaying time to market, or raising product production costs. Karamba addresses this issue with the XGuard platform by offering security throughout the device’s lifetime for the IoT and automotive industry. This security solution locks down the gadget to its factory settings, preventing hackers from exploiting hidden security flaws. It also removes the requirement for security upgrades. Karamba has raised $10M in a Series B funding round in December 2021 led by automotive startup VinFast with participation from investors including South Korea’s Samsung Venture Investment (SVIC), YL Ventures, and Liberty Mutual. It intends to use the funds to build its product with ML capabilities and expand its commercial expansion to geographies such as North America, Asia, and Europe.

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