Software/ platforms

Thistle Technologies Launches Technology Platform

Thistle Security Platform enables software update and other security capabilities lacking in IoT devices today

Thistle Technologies, a provider of security infrastructure for embedded devices, today announced Thistle Security Platform, a set of tools and services that bring software updates and other security functionality to the world of embedded devices.

The Thistle Security Platform allows device manufacturers to develop a modern security architecture quickly and easily. While deploying software updates on general purpose operating systems is easy and often automatic, embedded devices often require manual updating, if they can be updated at all. These devices are getting more complex and are essentially robust computers attached to critical infrastructure throughout industries, including transportation, telecommunications, financial, and many others. They lack the same security resilience seen in computers in the data center and the desktop, yet face the same threats and have a big attack surface that leaves organizations’ sensitive systems exposed.

With Thistle, device manufacturers and development teams responsible for maintaining embedded devices can incorporate advanced security functionality into their existing environments with ease. This approach allows for reliable and hassle-free software updates. Devices can be updated automatically, remotely from a data center and, for on-prem equipment, via a network instead of USB cable. This means fewer IT headaches, and sensitive environments that can’t risk down time can have secure devices without inconvenient and costly business interruptions.

“We want to democratize security, to make it easy for engineers to build sophisticated security into their devices,” said Window Snyder, founder of Thistle Technologies. “Organizations with small teams may have just a few developers working on devices for high-stakes environments, like power, water or telecom companies. These embedded devices are fully functional computers but they may lack the same security infrastructure that general purpose operating systems have. We’re making it easy for developers to quickly incorporate this level of security functionality into their devices.”

Specifically, the Thistle Security Platform includes:

  • Update — which enables end-to-end signed updates, fail-over protection to return to the last known good state without having to reboot, vulnerability monitoring and access control, and can be easily integrated into any device running Windows or Linux
  • Memory Allocator — which offers improved default memory allocation to mitigate buffer overflows, the most common source of security vulnerabilities
  • Secure Communications — which includes an integrated memory-safe TLS stack written in Rust

Thistle Security Platform integrates seamlessly with build environments. Thistle Platform Manager is integrated with Yocto, a versatile build system for embedded Linux devices, and allows developers to speed up development time by adding features with the click of a button. Thistle integrates with OpenWrt, a router operating system used by many universities and small businesses, and U-Boot, a popular open source boot loader.

Developers who want to try Thistle can use it on 10 devices for free. Thistle enables software updates out to their devices on their workbench instead of having to use a USB cable or JTAG interface to manually update. The Thistle cloud allows for remote management of a large fleet of devices across many platforms. For example, a user can manage their embedded Linux devices and microcontroller unit-based Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) devices in a single portal.

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