Microsoft Azure Sphere is an end-to-end IoT security system that is built on microcontroller (MCU), the sort of devices using tiny and relatively low-powered embedded objects for connectivity and basic controls.
The Cloud service was announced in 2018 to provide full-fledged IoT system security, with the platform comprising Microsoft’s own Linux-based OS, connected MCU and its cloud-based security services. According to Microsoft, the next decade will witness nearly all consumer gadget, household appliance, and industrial devices fully connected to the Internet.
And for everyone of these devices, there is one thing in common, a tiny chip, called a microcontroller (MCU), hosting the compute, storage, memory, and operating system directly on the device.
What are the components of Microsoft Azure Sphere?
Microsoft Research uncovered ways to secure the vast number of MCU-powered devices, by leveraging years of security experience, and learning from across the tech industry, to identify what it calls "the Seven Properties of Highly-Secure Devices".
The Azure Sphere consists of the customizable Linux-based OS, certified microcontroller chips MediaTek 3620 and cloud-based security services. In addition to the need for multiple layers of in-depth defense, both in hardware and in software, to repel hackers even when they've successfully breached one layer of security.
Why Microsoft’s Azure Sphere?
Microsoft Azure seeks to help to set up secure and scalable IoT or internet-connected devices of all sizes for organizations with minimal security risks.
Given the rise in hardware devices connected to the internet, with millions of such IoT devices exposed to cyber-attacks. These devices help to connect both personal and enterprise users, and it has become more important to make sure there is better security to prevent negative effects on businesses and lives.
The Azure Sphere platform Azure brings the rigor and scale Microsoft has built over the decades protecting its own systems and data in the cloud to MCU powered devices. It is perhaps the first initiative that aims to create a comprehensive system to lock down security on IoT system and devices.