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KasperskyOS aims to secure the billions of forgotten network devices

Why it matters to you

Russian security company Kaspersky just announced a new initiative that might make us all safer from cyberattack.

Today, there are not only more internet-connected devices in sheer absolute numbers, but there are also more different kinds of devices than ever before. In particular, there are more “hidden” devices, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, webcams, routers, and the like that don’t always get the same attention as our PCs when it comes to security.

Russian security company Kaspersky is responding to the growing threat of unsecured devices with its KasperskyOS (KOS), a secure operating system that the company has been working on for 14 years. The initiative was announced today by Eugene Kaspersky on the company’s official blog.

More: Analysis of internet-connected devices reveals millions are vulnerable to attack

Kaspersky was quick to point out in the blog post that KasperskyOS is not just another Linux distribution. In fact, as he puts it, “It’s literally not Linux; there’s not a single string of Linux code in it. We designed the OS from scratch, for different applications and purposes.” It’s also not a product that’s bought off the shelf, but rather one that will be priced and configured based on the needs of specific customers.

Instead, KasperskyOS aims at compatibility and universality with regard to Windows, Linux, and MacOS, with a secure operating system that aims to provide a practical an accessible solution for IoT, industrial, network, and other internet-connected devices. The new solution is made up of three products, including KOS, a standalone secure hypervisor (KSH) for running virtual machines, and a system for secure interaction between OS components (KSS).

Already, Germany company SYSGO has licensed KSS for use in its OS, PikeOS. Meanwhile, some companies are looking license the KSH by itself, while other companies, such as Kraftway, which makes switches, are integrating the entire KOS system. Kaspersky points to this purpose-built nature as a key strength of its new OS.

The company responded to those questioning its strong security claims:

“Our operating system’s architecture is based on the principle of dividing objects into the maximum number of isolated entities. Customers may examine the source code to make sure there are no undocumented capabilities inside the system. The rest is in effect configured together with the customer in the shape of various security policies designed to substantiate literally every tiny thing.”

The details of why the company is so confident in the inherent security of KasperskyOS is worth delving into if you’re in charge of selecting an OS for your upcoming internet-connected device, and the blog post provides some of those details. For the rest of us, we can take some solace in the promise of a secure OS that can help ensure security of our billions of internet-connected devices.