Every day we hear some new horror story about security, whether it’s consumers impacted by phishing or other intrusions in their own applications and devices, or via enterprise breaches in an increasingly long list of corporations.

Security matters

While we would hope that consumers and enterprises are paying attention (and doing something about it), some new studies came out this week offering alarming insights. A new study from the Neurosecurity Lab at Brigham Young University shows that consumers are increasingly immune to online security warnings.

IBM’s new study found that 40% of large companies don’t scan the apps that they build for customers for vulnerabilities, that the average company tests less than half of the apps they build for security flaws, and that 33% of organizations never test their mobile apps before putting them on the market.

And Experian yesterday announced results of a new study showing that a third of UK businesses have no data breach response plan, and more than 80 percent of those companies are concerned about the financial impact of recovering from such a breach.

It is incumbent upon the companies providing the connected devices, products and services of tomorrow to create a secure foundation for the future consumer and enterprise experience. And companies need to know that software solutions aren’t enough – security must start with the hardware.

A virtualization-based approach

At Imagination, we believe this begins with the CPU, GPU and other processing elements within the SoC. This security must be built on a foundation of hardware virtualization across these processors, resulting in a powerful, multi-domain solution.

Thanks to our technologies spanning the entire SoC including MIPS processors, PowerVR multimedia and Ensigma connectivity IP families, plus our FlowCloud platform and our leadership in heterogeneous processing architectures, Imagination is in a unique position to bring together a broad set of partners and make a real difference in connected device security.

As such, we are joining with other industry leaders to create a truly open, cross-industry security initiative through the prpl Foundation. The prpl Foundation is an open-source non-profit foundation focused on enabling next-generation data center-to-device portable software and virtualized architectures.

This week, prpl announced a new Security PEG (prpl Engineering Group) focused on defining an open security framework for deploying secured and authenticated virtualized services in the IoT and related emerging markets. Open is a key word here, and we’ll be talking more about its importance in future posts.

prpl foundation

Founding members joining Imagination in the new prpl Security PEG include:

Each company will contribute members to the Security PEG and its ongoing development efforts. The new Security PEG will define a security roadmap to get from today’s software-virtualized solutions to full hardware supported virtualization, enabling multi-domain security across processors, heterogeneous SoCs, and systems built on these technologies. In addition, the Security PEG will define necessary open APIs (application programming interfaces) for various levels of the security stack.

prpl is the perfect community to bring together all the key players to tackle the crucial cross-industry security challenge. Through prpl, we will create solutions for a secure connected device ecosystem where each company can maximize the security and interoperability of their differentiated solutions.

Here is what our EVP of marketing, Tony King-Smith, had to say in a press release about its new Security PEG:

Companies need a foundation of certainty on which to build their applications and services that is future-proof and tackles the real-world issues. prpl provides the perfect forum for collaboration to achieve a portable, scalable solution for all stakeholders.

My colleague Alex Voica has talked before about the benefits of virtualization for security in past posts about SELTECH hypervisors for MIPS, the new PowerVR Series7 GPUs or the 64-bit MIPS I6400 CPU. We will continue to discuss Imagination’s security technologies and vision for open security in future communications. Watch this space!

About the author: Jen Bernier

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Jen Bernier-Santarini is director of technology communications, part of Imagination’s global marketing communications organization.

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