McAfee Pursues Embedded Device Security

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Danny Lieberman


If Mcafee is jumping into this area – then it might explain some of the synergy with the Intel acquisition – two years ago, Intel went public with products aimed at driving medical monitoring into the home – see Intel launches medical device for home patient monitoring.

Home monitoring (the Intel Health Guide is a 10.5″ tablet) “is a big area of focus and a growth opportunity for Intel” according to Mariah Scott, director of sales and marketing for Intel’s Digital Health Group.

Enhance device security: Protect embedded devices against existing and unknown zero-day threats via malware (such as worms, viruses, Trojans and buffer-overflow threats, etc.). Because many embedded devices such as ATMs and kiosks have a large attack area, they face increased security vulnerabilities. McAfee Embedded Security ensures that the device—when in production and in the field—is secure and cannot be compromised.

The Mcafee product is clearly aimed at embedded Windows devices – which are unfortunately over 1/2 of embedded medical devices since a good many software developers come from IT backgrounds and don’t have the cojones to deal with Linux let alone embedded Linux on small footprint hardware.

Some of the collateral makes a lot of sense while other parts seem like typical security vendor marcom – like the part about assuring HIPAA compliance with tamper free logs.

When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail as I noted in my post last year on the true cost of HIPAA privacy violations

The product feels like a commercialization of a project that their professional services group did for a particular customer.

The discussion about supporting integration of multi vendor channels sort of  smells like an Intel aphorism, and while it might serve Intel, multi-vendor channel integration may be the exception rather than the rule in the medical device space, since most medical device vendors are  small specialized business units or startups intent on preserving their own IP.

Cross-posted from Israeli Security

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Jamie Adams Great information. I did not know that Windows comprises "over 1/2 of embedded medical devices". Thanks for posting.
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