Microsoft introducing Azure Sphere, a secure OS for IoT devices

Microsoft is entering the cybersecurity IoT market with Azure Sphere, a new secure OS for IoT devices. The new solution for protecting IoT devices and microcontrollers against cyberattacks will be based on Linux.

If you plan to attend RSA 2018, Microsoft will be announcing it there. Galen Hunt is the mastermind behind the project.

Microsoft has decided to take its learnings from Xbox in terms of how to secure microcontrollers and will be applying the knowledge to the new OS.

MediaTek MT3620 will be the first Azure Sphere chip. These microcontrollers will feature Pluton, a new security subsystem. They will also include the processing power of the Cortex-A processor.

Azure Sphere is based on a custom Linux kernel, and it also features secured application containers with the function of compartmentalising the code. Since most of Microsoft’s efforts revolve around trying to sell their Azure service these days, the fact that the new OS isn’t based on Windows isn’t as surprising as it may seem.

Azure Sphere Security Service is the answer to cybersecurity threats, provides the needed authentication, and displays information about the device and application failures. If you’re a developer, you’re free to take advantage of Visual Studio Tools to connect your applications to Azure Sphere. By doing this, you can access Azure IoT Hub, messaging, and telemetry data.

As of right now, the new OS is in private preview, but if you wait until around mid-year, developer kits will become available. The first wave of Azure Sphere-powered devices will hit the shelves this year.