Wibu-Systems Blog https://www.wibu.com/za/blog.html Tue, 19 Jun 2018 04:38:39 +0200 Tue, 19 Jun 2018 04:38:39 +0200 t3extblog extension for TYPO3 Unlicensed Software and Malware are related Tue, 12 Jun 2018 21:12:00 +0200 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/unlicensed-software-opens-the-door-to-malware.html post-92 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/unlicensed-software-opens-the-door-to-malware.html Daniela Previtali Alarming insights and compelling guidelines in the 2018 BSA global survey: Software Management: Security Imperative, Business Opportunity. Unlicensed Software and Malware are related by Daniela Previtali 12-06-18

Software has become an essential tool for global businesses to perform their fundamental everyday tasks. Software adds value in the way organizations conduct business, improve profitability, reach new markets, and gain competitive advantages. Too often, however, the benefits of these efforts are marginalized by the widespread use of unlicensed software and the often-crippling security threats that accompany it.

That’s one of the main takeaways from the BSA | The Software Alliance’s 2018 Global Software Survey: Software Management: Security Imperative, Business Opportunity. The survey conducted by BSA, the leading advocate for the global software industry, quantifies the volume and value of unlicensed software installed on personal computers in more than 110 countries and regions, and includes nearly 23,000 responses from consumers, employees, and CIOs in those areas.

Despite a global two-point drop in unlicensed software installation rates during the last two years, the survey disclosed that unlicensed software is still being used around the globe at alarming rates, accounting for 37 percent of software installed on personal computers. Regionally, the unlicensed usage rates keep showing dire numbers: Asia Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe at 57%, Latin America at 52%, Middle East and Africa at 56%, North America at 16%, and Western Europe at 26%. The aggregation of all the individual license breaches translates into startling losses for software manufacturers in the trenches and consequently national economies that account for $16.4B in Asia-Pacific, $9.5B in Western Europe and North America, $5B in Latin America, $3.1B in Middle East and Africa, $2.9B in Central & Eastern Europe. That’s to say that the value of unlicensed software is estimated at $46 billion worldwide.

Although some of the abatement comes from fewer PC shipments, the BSA recommends organizations to embrace a three-step process consisting of assessing trustworthy data, improving management across the entire IT asset life cycle, and optimizing the analysis in key functional areas. Furthermore, governments, commonly the largest users of software in the world, can lead by example, increase public education and awareness, modernize laws to account for new innovations, and create a conducive environment for enforcement.

In addition, the survey found the link between increasing malware attacks and unlicensed software to be indisputable, as a higher rate of unlicensed software use correlates directly with the higher likelihood of a debilitating malware infection.

The report noted that organizations face a 33% chance of encountering malware when they obtain or install unlicensed software, and, dealing with the malware associated with unlicensed software can cost more than $10,000 per infected computer. Sixty-eight percent of computer users and 48 percent of CIOs rated malware among the top three reasons not to use unlicensed software. As a result, many CIOs are realizing the true costs of unlicensed software including the loss of corporate or personal data, system downtime, network outages, and the cost of disinfecting systems.

In China, for example, 66% of software is reportedly unlicensed and the country has incurred devastating malware attacks that crippled an estimated 40,000 Chinese institutions, halted the electronic payment systems throughout the country at PetroChina’s gas stations, shut down ATMs run by the Bank of China, and impacted the operations of major companies like China Telecom and Hainan Airlines.

While the overall findings indicate that unlicensed software usage is still widespread, several other key trends emerged that greatly impact the enterprise landscape:

  • CIOs are finding unlicensed software is increasingly risky and expensive
  • Improving software compliance is now an economic enabler and security imperative
  • Organizations can take meaningful steps today to improve software management and achieve important gains

What is the takeaway for ISVs? While the survey was focused on enterprise CIOs and end users, the data suggests that ISVs can help compliance efforts by offering licensing models that make enterprise licensing easier to implement and manage. Today’s software managers require flexibility in licensing, delivery, reporting, and management, which ultimately serves to cut costs as well. For example, the BSA report highlighted a 12,000 employee German company, OSI International Foods, that had reduced post-licensing costs by more than 30 percent by implementing a more effective software licensing model.

Furthermore, ISVs can help to reduce the risks of malware by integrating strong protection measures into their software to prevent illegal software copying and counterfeiting and enable secure licensing via hardware devices or machine bound licensing to make it more difficult to employ unlicensed copies. 

]]>
Every Vote Counts Tue, 05 Jun 2018 18:15:00 +0200 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/every-vote-counts.html post-90 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/every-vote-counts.html Daniela Previtali With national elections soon coming up in the U.S., the mere thought of further interference with the democratic process is raising deep concerns. Every Vote Counts by Daniela Previtali 05-06-18

The potential danger of cyberattacks is present in virtually every facet of our lives, whether it be tampering of medical devices, attacks on critical civil infrastructure, prying into our connected home devices, or theft of personal data. Even cyberthreats to our political processes is now a clear and present danger. The disruption of the U.S. 2016 presidential election by cyberattacks, where Russian hackers purportedly targeted elections systems in 21 states, is a prime example. These attacks led to personal information being exposed and two voter registration systems being temporarily shut down. With national elections coming up in the U.S. in November, the mere thought of further interference with the democratic process is raising deep concerns. In a survey of 5,000 voters, published earlier this year, cybersecurity firm Carbon Black found that one in four U.S. voters was considering not voting in upcoming elections due to concerns such as theft of personal data from election databases.

The Washington Post recently convened a panel of more than 100 cybersecurity leaders from across government, the private sector, academia and the research community to discuss these issues. When surveyed, nearly all agreed that U.S. state election systems were not sufficiently protected against cyberthreats. One panelist described the election systems as “massive, distributed IT systems with thousands of endpoints and back-end systems that hold and process large volumes of highly sensitive data” and noted that protecting such systems “is no small feat”.

GenKey, a leading global provider of large-scale, biometric identity solutions for governments, public institutions and businesses, addressed the problem of potential election hacking by investing in Wibu-Systems CodeMeter software protection, licensing and security technology. With headquarters in the Netherlands, one of GenKey’s missions is to prevent identity fraud in emerging countries with solutions for voter management, medical ID handling/claim processing and large-scale identity management.

Documented in an interesting case study was GenKey’s involvement with elections in the African nation of Ghana, which entailed countrywide deployment of up to 26 thousand voting machines to support more than fifteen million potential voters. At the scale of the distributed computing needs of a national election it was critical that the integrity of the results was maintained and above any suspicion and biometric data for each voter was protected.

GenKey integrated CodeMeter technology to secure the software in its voting machines. CodeMeter employs both symmetric and asymmetric encryption. The program code is encrypted using symmetric 128 bit AES encryption. Upon starting the application, asymmetric encryption (ECC, 2224 bit or RSA, 2048 bit) of the digital signature is employed. Before a GenKey system is shipped, it is loaded with software that is protected with CodeMeter. The encrypted code is bundled with a license file into a complete package. When each system boots up, the embedded software calls this file, using a digital signature to verify its authenticity. A list of conditions is verified, such as the validity of the license, or the matching of the hardware features that were initially bound to the license during the encryption process. This ensures a high level of security and integrity of the biometric data while protecting the software against potential counterfeiting and misuse during polls.

Beyond this example, the CodeMeter software protection, licensing and security platform is being deployed across a wide array of business sectors, including medical equipment and healthcare solutions, industrial equipment, factory automation, retail and banking and a host of others. 

]]>
New Breed of Embedded Software Engineers Tue, 29 May 2018 09:00:00 +0200 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/new-breed-of-embedded-software-engineers.html post-91 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/new-breed-of-embedded-software-engineers.html Daniela Previtali Embedded software engineers of the future will have a very different skillset from their predecessors - Where does the software security skillset fit? New Breed of Embedded Software Engineers by Daniela Previtali 29-05-18

An article by Jacob Beningo that appeared recently in Design News caught my eye and raised an interesting question. The main premise of the article, “The Soon-to-Be-Extinct Embedded Software Engineer,” was that “embedded software engineers of the future will have a very different skillset from their traditional predecessors. They’ll know how to call an API to make the hardware do something, but they won’t know why or how it does it.”

One of the main drivers of this transformation is the IoT, where the push to connect every device to the Internet is creating an unprecedented demand for embedded software engineers. As a result of this demand, companies are finding themselves shorthanded when it comes to the availability of embedded software developers. For expediency, instead of training new engineers, companies are turning to application developers who have experience with Windows applications or mobile devices but have little understanding of low-level hardware.

Mr. Beningo goes on to say that “future embedded software engineers will not be masters of bits and bytes like their predecessors, but rather will have high-level application development skills. Hence, they will know how to call an API to make the hardware perform a function, but not necessarily why or how it does it.” He concludes that rapid innovation often allows teams that might otherwise have been lacking critical skills to still be successful. However, the need for knowledge offered by the traditional embedded software engineer is still required to bridge the gap between the hardware and the new embedded application developers.

As I alluded to earlier, the article raised an important question for me: where does the software security skillset fit in the transformation to the new breed of embedded application developers? As Mr. Beningo noted, the development of software-driven IoT devices is a main driver of this transformation and putting companies under extreme pressure to commercialize connected devices rapidly. At the same time, the proliferation of cyberattacks and threats to IoT devices and data has emphasized the critical need to design in software protection mechanisms to thwart these attacks. Even more concerning is that many of these attacks go beyond merely causing inconveniences, performance snags, or confusion, but jeopardize human safety.

Under the increasing cloud of cyberthreats, the question is who owns the security by design approach required for intelligent device development – the traditional embedded software engineer or the new breed of application developer applying their skills to embedded systems? Who is best equipped to implement code encryption, integrity protection, secure boot and all of the other critical security mechanisms required to protect these devices?

Many companies are relieving their internal developers and software engineers of the mounting pressure of understanding all of the nuances of software security by turning to experts like Wibu-Systems to work with them to integrate established and tested protection mechanisms into their software. This approach allows their own software engineers to focus on what they know and do best. Many of the key concerns of IoT device security and proven approaches to address the issues are covered in this whitepaper, Licensing and Security for the IoT, which can be readily downloaded. Knowledge of these software protections and partnerships with those who understand how best to implement them will go a long way towards empowering the next generation embedded software engineer to develop safe and secure IoT devices.

]]>
New Product Piracy Report – Same Old Story Wed, 09 May 2018 11:06:00 +0200 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/new-product-piracy-report-same-old-story.html post-89 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/new-product-piracy-report-same-old-story.html Daniela Previtali VDMA Product Piracy Study 2018 indicates that, while the overall scale of damage remains unchanged, damages have worsened in the last two years. New Product Piracy Report – Same Old Story by Daniela Previtali 09-05-18

The VDMA, the advocacy organization for Germany’s mechanical and systems engineering industry, has released data from its latest research on product piracy (Product Piracy 2018), and once again, the results are alarming –71% of the enterprises in Germany’s industrial engineering sector are directly affected by product or brand piracy with damages estimated at €7.3 billion annually.

Conducted every 2 years, VDMA’s survey seeks to determine the current state of threats posed by counterfeiters, pirates and forgers. The study is mostly concerned with the illicit reproduction of products, or more specifically, the imitation of products in breach of special proprietary rights or imitation of products without any breach of proprietary rights, but against accepted competitive practice.

This year’s study, completed in March 2018, determined that the overall scale of damage from product piracy remains relatively unchanged from 2016, while surprisingly, 39% indicated that damages had worsened in the last 2 years. The People’s Republic of China remains the grand champion of the countries named as the origin of piracy, with 82% of counterfeits made there and 44% sold there. By comparison, Germany was second with 19% of respondees saying they were the country of origin.

Beyond the damages of IP theft, public safety is also a major casualty of counterfeits: 36% of companies reported counterfeits that endanger their operators, users, and the environment while 46% of the participants see the counterfeits they have identified as a danger to the effective operations of industrial facilities.

How are these companies protecting their IP and product innovations from piracy? Most (61%) of the participating companies consider the piracy to be a legal management issue but are engaging other areas of their organization to join the fight. R&D functions (42% of cases), legal and patent affairs offices (34%) and even sales and marketing (29%) have become actively involved. However, before trying legal recourse, most companies will first attempt to settle such matters out of court. More than one third of the affected companies would not, however, take any action. This applies in particular to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Unfortunately, the data suggests that current legal efforts have not stemmed the tide of global product and or brand piracy which continues to pose a major danger to the industry. And, with the emergence of the IoT and Industrie 4.0 fueled by millions of connected devices and the communication of sensitive data over the Internet, the dangers to public safety loom even larger.

The VDMA is working closely with security experts like Wibu-Systems and other industry organizations to develop strong and preventive measures that make it more difficult to copy or reverse engineer product designs, secure data, and add a measure of safety to industrial processes. Some of those protection mechanisms are outlined in VDMA documents, Product and Know-how Protection, and, Industrie 4.0 in practice – solutions for industrial applications.

For our part, Wibu-Systems has dedicated itself to eradicate sabotage, espionage and cyber-attacks in smart factories. With our flagship CodeMeter® licensing and protection platform, developers can safeguard digital assets and product know-how that are available in machines as well as on personal computers, industrial PCs, embedded systems, mobile devices, tablets, programmable logic controllers and microcontrollers from software counterfeiting, product piracy, reverse-engineering and machine code tampering.

]]>
Security Requirements for Medical Devices Mon, 23 Apr 2018 12:08:00 +0200 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/security-requirements-for-medical-devices.html post-88 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/security-requirements-for-medical-devices.html Daniela Previtali When choosing the right system software for medical devices, secure communications, multi-CdPU design, modularity and scalability are key. Security Requirements for Medical Devices by Daniela Previtali 23-04-18

Software has become ubiquitous in the healthcare industry given its widespread use for controlling medical devices and health information systems and communicating and maintaining electronic patient data, all in an increasingly connected environment. For embedded system developers, in particular, choosing the software best suited for the design of the medical device and its end use is critical. Options abound – use a commercial off-the-shelf product or create their own? Employ a real-time operating system or a general-purpose operating system such as Linux or Android? And, what security mechanisms will be incorporated to protect software from malicious tampering and ensure data transmission and storage?

Wind River recently published an interesting white paper, Choosing the Right System Software for Medical Devices, that explores many of the essential considerations that will help developers in making their choices. As Wind River points out in the paper, while the needs and requirement for each device will vary as will the features, functions, and capabilities, it is critical to evaluate the full range of options before making the selection. Of the many key considerations are shelf-life, easy-to-understand user interface, secure and stable communications, multi-CPU system design, connectivity, modularity and scalability.

Additionally, use of commercial vs. open source development options require careful consideration. While each has advantages and trade-offs, Wind River notes that the choice typically comes down to the completeness and sophistication of commercial offerings versus the low cost and ubiquity of open source software. From a safety standpoint, the medical device system software needs to support security features that protect against malware and also deliver secure data storage and transmission. The system software also needs to support the secure upgrade, download, and authentication of applications to help keep devices secure across an ever-changing threat landscape.

As open source software continues in popularity within the development community, commercial vendors too are focusing on software solutions that specifically address the unique challenges of medical devices. Companies like Wind River and Wibu-Systems, for example, offer integrated solutions that leverage each other’s technology expertise. With the integration of Wibu-Systems’ CodeMeter security platform with Wind River’s Security Profile for VxWorks®, the world’s most widely deployed commercial RTOS, developers of connected medical systems have access to a fully scalable solution that features best-of-breed security for device, data, and IP protection, and additional licensing management options to expand business opportunities for applications developed on the VxWorks platform. You can read a more detailed description of the joint technology in this solution brief.

Beyond functionality and security, however, medical device developers must also weigh additional economic and operational factors affecting the healthcare industry. For example, given the burgeoning costs of healthcare, developers must take into account a mandate to minimize cost per capita of each person’s healthcare while reducing the cost of the devices themselves. With expanded features and sophistication of the devices, they must be readily understandable and easy to operate by both the professional and non-professional care givers who will use them. And they must work every time.

Medical device software developers have much to consider, particularly when human lives are at stake.

]]>
Product Liability and the IoT Thu, 19 Apr 2018 13:26:00 +0200 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/product-liability-and-the-iot.html post-87 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/product-liability-and-the-iot.html Terry Gaul Product liability in the cyberworld opens up a whole new area of litigation, as the ISV becomes also responsible of software exploitation for malicious intent. Product Liability and the IoT by Terry Gaul 19-04-18

Historically, software developers have been free of liability if their software fails thanks to End User License Agreements that essentially grant them immunity from lawsuits. Over the years, U.S. courts have upheld those agreements. As far back as 1986, Apple was let off the hook by a federal court and ruled that they could not be sued for bugs in its software, pointing to the disclaimer that no claim was made that the code was bug free. Since then, there have been several class action suits brought against software makers for buggy software that were similarly ruled against.

But, ISVs beware, that scenario may be changing. In late 2016, The Christian Science Monitor reported that “leading digital security experts are calling on U.S. policymakers to hold manufacturers liable for software vulnerabilities in their products in an effort to prevent the bugs commonly found in smartphones and desktops from pervading the emerging IoT space.”

Just recently, the Washington Examiner reported that U.S. Senator Mark Warner told the audience at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, that “a fulsome debate is needed about whether the software sector's legal immunity has outlived its usefulness, especially in an age of relentless cyberattacks that frequently exploit software vulnerabilities.”

Warner, who is also a leader on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, also believes that “subjecting the software industry to legal exposure for flaws in their products is one way to get the private sector to improve their cybersecurity.”

With the global spotlight on cybersecurity, it’s not hard to understand why the software industry and product liability issues are under heavy scrutiny. The discussion is now well beyond the inconvenience caused by buggy software. Unprotected and vulnerable software in the cyberworld can have grim and even life-threatening consequences – an autonomous vehicle could crash, a lifesaving medical device could fail, or a power grid could be attacked and put national security at risk.

Product liability in the cyberworld opens up a whole new area of potential litigation, as the ISV is not only responsible for its own software, but also responsible if people exploit it for malicious actions. So, for example, if a hacker finds a vulnerability in the code and manipulates it to cause damage, the developer conceivably could be held responsible for it. And when life and death are at issue, the focus will surely shift to accountability and liability.

A key takeaway here is that developers need to take action now to design security into their products. If they don’t have the expertise (and many don’t), they need to work with security partners who can help them eliminate potential vulnerabilities and protect against nefarious hackers. Two good reference points are the Industrial Internet Consortium’s Industrial Internet Security Framework and the on-demand Webinar, IIoT Endpoint Security – The Model in Practice

]]>
Global Product Piracy on the Political Agenda Mon, 09 Apr 2018 12:16:00 +0200 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/global-product-piracy-more-than-a-political-talking-point.html post-86 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/global-product-piracy-more-than-a-political-talking-point.html Terry Gaul The U.S. points to China for rampant IP theft, which they believe has significantly weakened U.S. companies’ position in the global market. Global Product Piracy on the Political Agenda by Terry Gaul 09-04-18

Trade imbalance is at the crux of the harsh rhetoric exchanged between the U.S. and China recently as both sides threaten to implement tariffs on certain goods and imports to protect their own economies. Adding to this trade imbalance, the U.S. points to China for rampant Intellectual Property theft which they believe has significantly weakened U.S. companies’ position in the global market. As a result, there is heightened awareness of the economic impact of IP theft and it has become a key geopolitical talking point in the debate on fair trade policies.

IP theft takes many forms – counterfeiting, piracy, reverse engineering, industrial espionage, patent theft, brand imitations, and outright blackmail. The VDMA, Europe’s largest mechanical engineering federation representing over 3,100 companies in the capital goods industry, has been monitoring and expressing growing concern about the industrial product piracy epidemic for many years. They claim revenue loss and damages caused by product piracy in mechanical engineering reached the billions in 2015. (see infographic)

For ISVs, of course, IP theft is much more than a talking point. Software piracy alone accounts for billions in lost revenues as well.

According to a 2015 report published by the Business Software Alliance, a leading advocate for the global software industry, 39 percent of software installed on PCs around the world in 2015 was not properly licensed, costing the industry billions in lost revenues. In the United States alone, the commercial value of unlicensed software, installed in 2015 amounts to $9 billion, with worldwide damages estimated to be five times as high. The report further noted that unlawful use of software was particularly widespread in China, Russia and Indonesia, in most cases, amounting to outright theft.

While the ongoing political discussion surrounding IP theft surely won’t result in a solution to the problem, it has at least brought the issue to the forefront. So, what can ISVs do to protect their software from piracy and unlawful usage? A good place to start is to harden their software protection mechanisms provided by commercial solutions such as CodeMeter. CodeMeter Protection Suite comprises a comprehensive set of tools to protect software and firmware from piracy, counterfeiting, reverse engineering and tampering. Protection Suite encrypts the source code and utilizes state-of-the-art anti-debugging and anti-reverse engineering technologies to achieve maximum protection. It is scalable and designed for quick and easy integration into your software.

These protection mechanisms are available now and we urge ISVs to take a serious look at protecting their applications, from the simplest to the most sophisticated, and whether they are delivered on PC, mobile, cloud or embedded systems.

During our Webinar, How Secure do you Want Your Application to be?, on April 11, 9 a.m. PST, we will provide a detailed overview of the different protection layers of CodeMeter and demonstrate how ISVs can use these tools to safeguard their applications. You can register for the 1-hour Webinar here.

]]>
Preparing for the IIoT Transformation Mon, 19 Mar 2018 08:33:00 +0100 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/preparing-for-the-iiot-transformation.html post-85 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/preparing-for-the-iiot-transformation.html Terry Gaul Only 3% of the executives surveyed expressed that they were not challenged by the adoption of  new technologies inherent with the IoT. Preparing for the IIoT Transformation by Terry Gaul 19-03-18

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Is Here - Are You Ready?

That’s the question posed to more than 1,600 C-level executives by Deloitte Global in a survey recently conducted by Forbes Insights. The research was designed to gauge the readiness of business to address both the sizeable challenges and tremendous potential envisioned with the societal transformations being shaped by Industrie 4.0.  

Industrie 4.0 is driving an unprecedented phase of interconnectivity, one where plants and equipment are not just fully automated but also controlled remotely over the Internet, from offsite locations or even via cloud computing. The potential incremental efficiencies, lower labor costs, and the competitive advantages are clear and obvious to all. Just like any other technological revolution though, Industrie 4.0 opens up a myriad of new challenges.

Are we ready? It’s an important question and one that impacts not only business, but global economies, the workforce and society as a whole. In gauging readiness, it is important to first understand the tremendous challenges that must be addressed in a digitized economy. Executive’s in Deloitte’s survey noted several common challenges they faced in the adoption of new technologies. For example, they cited lack of internal alignment about which strategies to follow; lack of collaboration with external partners; short termism; lack of adequate technologies, lack of rank-and-file adoption; and lack of vision by leaders, to name just a few. Only 3% of the executives expressed that they were not challenged by the adoption of the new technologies inherent with the IoT.

The digitization of virtually every facet of our society in the evolution of Industrie 4.0 has far reaching implications, none more important than cybersecurity. Cyberattacks are perceived globally as a major threat to success and safety in the new digital economy. Cyberthreats can take many forms, from counterfeiting and product piracy to malicious tampering of connected devices and life-threatening attacks on machines and critical infrastructure.

For example, according to VDMA, Europe’s largest mechanical engineering foundation, product piracy alone in the mechanical engineering sector causes loss of revenue and damages in the billions annually.

Furthermore, the Alliance for Cyber Security in Germany recently reported that nearly 70 percent of companies and institutions in Germany were victims of cyber attacks in 2016 and 2017. In many cases, the attackers were successful and able to gain access to IT systems, influence the functioning of IT systems or manipulate corporate websites. Half of the successful attacks led to production or operational failures. In addition, there were often costs for clarifying incidents and restoring IT systems, as well as reputational damage.

Fortunately, security technology leaders like Wibu-Systems are working in partnership with industry organizations and other technology leaders to develop innovative solutions that allow industry to stay a step ahead of the cyber criminals. For example, as a member of the Alliance for Cyber Security, Wibu-Systems documented its security technology in a white paper, “Integrity Protection for Embedded Systems,” which contributes substantially to the understanding of advanced technology for protecting the integrity of connected devices in embedded environments. The whitepaper outlines the necessary protections that can be deployed to protect Intellectual Property and machine code integrity using sophisticated encryption among other mechanisms.

Ongoing efforts to extend the global knowledge base of innovative technology advances pertaining to Industrie 4.0 will serve to ensure the safety of industry, governments and individuals who are all stakeholders in the new economy, as well as provide the foundation for powerful new business models. A good reference point is Deloitte’s white paper, Growing Internet of Things Platforms, which examines how companies can build a healthy business platform to make optimal use of available IoT technologies.

]]>
Global Technology Partnerships Are Key Wed, 28 Feb 2018 19:31:00 +0100 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/global-technology-partnerships-are-key.html post-84 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/global-technology-partnerships-are-key.html Terry Gaul We support BSA US 2018 Policy Agenda in developing international consensus on cybersecurity best practices and leveraging innovative solutions. Global Technology Partnerships Are Key by Terry Gaul 28-02-18

BSA | The Software Alliance, a leading advocate for the global software industry, recently announced its U.S 2018 policy agenda. The agenda focuses on four main policy areas: data, intellectual property, workforce development, and emerging technologies.

In the realm of cybersecurity, BSA promotes endeavors to improve the government’s capabilities and readiness to address cybersecurity threats. BSA supports a robust partnership of government and industry to:

  • Promote a secure software ecosystem through industry benchmarks, enhanced tools, research and vulnerability disclosure
  • Strengthen government’s approach to cybersecurity
  • Build international consensus on cybersecurity policies, standards, and practices
  • Develop a 21st century cybersecurity workforce
  • Embrace digital transformation by leveraging emerging technologies and forging innovative partnerships

At Wibu-Systems, we wholeheartedly support BSA’s agenda in building partnerships with government, particularly in developing international consensus on cybersecurity best practices, leveraging emerging technologies and forging innovative solutions. Beyond joint research activities with the government, we also believe that technology partnerships between industry participants directly or through industry associations can serve to dramatically speed the development of innovative technology solutions for the common good of the global industrial ecosystem.  

For example, the members of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), an organization dedicated to setting the standards, best practices and processes of the Industrial Internet, have worked tirelessly to develop best practices, technical guidance, and testbeds for the emergence of the industrial Internet of Things. To assess cybersecurity issues that represent a major threat to world safety and security, Wibu-Systems contributed its security expertise in the development of the Industrial Internet Security Framework (IISF), an in-depth cross-industry-focused security document comprising expert vision, experience and security best practices. It reflects thousands of hours of knowledge and experiences from security experts, collected, researched and evaluated for the benefit of all IIoT system deployments.

As a member of the Infineon Security Partner Network (ISPN), Wibu-Systems joins a selected group of security experts whose mission is to make proven semiconductor-based security easily accessible to the growing number of manufacturers of connected devices and systems. Wibu-Systems has powered its entire CodeMeter hardware product line with Infineon’s SLE 97 security controllers, crucial components for the data security and system integrity of computers and embedded systems in smart factories. Additionally, Wibu-Systems has successfully integrated the Embedded variant of CodeMeter with Infineon’s XMC 4500 industrial microcontroller family. As a result of this cooperation, software developers of field programmable gate arrays and microcontrollers can now protect application code and intellectual property against reverse engineering and implement a license control system.

Wibu-Systems is also an active member of the OPC Foundation, an organization dedicated to  providing security standards for authentication and secure encrypted M2M communications. The OPC UA standard clearly defines the secure authentication of networked control systems. Wibu-Systems’ CodeMeter technology supports the Unified Architecture protocol and provides security extensions and license management via OPC UA. The benefit of this support for the OPC UA standard was demonstrated during the Hannover Messe tradeshow in 2017. Wibu-Systems was one of 18 partner companies who contributed to a live demonstration of a flexible robotic transport system that used RFID tag descriptions in accordance with the ISO 15693 standard, OPC UA protocol, and a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to ensure the highest level of standardization in hardware and communication. Wibu-Systems was able to address the security aspect of the demonstration.

These are just a few examples of the power of joint partnerships with the government, industry associations and technology companies that benefit the global industrial community. There surely will be more to come.

]]>
Essentials in Software Monetization Wed, 14 Feb 2018 10:03:00 +0100 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/essentials-in-software-monetization.html post-83 https://www.wibu.com/za/blog/article/essentials-in-software-monetization.html Terry Gaul Modern software monetization ensures customers use the services they pay for while taking advantage of cloud adoption and real-time analytics tools. Essentials in Software Monetization by Terry Gaul 14-02-18

“As today’s technology becomes increasingly complex, modern software monetization is essential. The adoption of modern technologies like the cloud have pressured independent software vendors (ISVs) to learn how to better protect their intellectual property (IP)…. To meet new demands, ISVs should look to modern delivery models and monetization methods including a user-centric focus, customer intelligence, and transparency for software usage.”

So writes Olivia Cahoon in a recent article in Software Magazine, Seeking Transparency: Modern Software Monetization. The gist of the article is that modern technologies such as the cloud and delivery models like Software-as-a-Service are giving consumers more options in the way that they use and purchase software. And because consumer preferences continue to evolve in rapid fashion, ISVs must be agile enough to re-package and deliver their offerings to match these dynamic usage requirements.

Marcellus Buchheit, President and CEO of Wibu-Systems USA, noted in the article: “Gone are the days of selling software with a perpetual license in a box. The ability to offer flexible licensing models is an important component in every ISV’s toolbox for optimizing their software monetization strategy.”

We can define modern software monetization as the ability for ISVs to maximize revenue by licensing and delivering their software with creative business models that are best suited for their customers’ requirements while protecting their software from outright piracy and illegal license usage, whether deliberate or inadvertent. Monetization issues are similar across all applications, whether delivered via on-premise, cloud, or mobile platforms.

Deploying usage-based licensing is a critical monetization consideration for ISVs as customers gain increasing say in how they want to consume and pay for their software. Traditional perpetual software licensing agreements are rapidly falling out of favor as often times they place restrictions on product use that do not fit the dynamic business needs of the end user. Many smaller companies, for instance, benefit from the ability to tailor licensing usage and subsequent costs to reduce their upfront expenditures and more closely match their business cycles.

For ISVs, the flexibility to offer licensing models tailored more closely to their customers business needs can help them reach new markets that they might not have been able to achieve with a conventional perpetual licensing strategy. ISVs need to decide whether their existing licensing system can deliver the flexibility they need to keep pace and even stay ahead of the market, or should they consider a licensing solution offered by a 3rd party to achieve their business goals. For example, look at the comprehensive range of license models readily available to ISVs with Wibu-Systems’ CodeMeter licensing platform, including both traditional single user or network licenses as well as consumption and user-based models, such as feature-on-demand, pay-per-use, and subscription licensing.

Software piracy continues to be a major monetization challenge faced by ISVs today. Unprotected applications can allow unauthorized access and theft of IP and personal data; insecure license management systems enable unlawful use of the software; and proprietary portions of source code can be hacked to reverse engineer and build counterfeit products – all resulting in losses in the billions of dollars for ISVs around the globe.

Compounding that issue is the importance of protecting cloud deployed applications and data against IP theft, counterfeiting and reverse engineering. Encrypting source code of the cloud application using strong cryptographic techniques protects IP against piracy and tampering. User authentication mechanisms and secure techniques for creating, storing and delivering licenses in the cloud further protect against unauthorized usage and ensures the proper monetization of the software.

In summary, today’s marketplace requires flexibility in licensing, delivery, reporting, and management while also protecting intellectual property. Said Cahoon: “Modern software monetization ensures customers use the services they pay for while taking advantage of cloud adoption and real-time analytics tools. To maintain customer satisfaction and improve monetization, ISVs should ensure data and software usage is transparent and easily understood by customers.”

]]>