Mocana Recap: Chillin' at Samsung Developer's Conference 2016

Team Mocana seized the day and some swag (as one of our engineers put it) a week and a half ago at the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. I walked into the office on Monday morning and saw one of our engineers decked out in a Samsung sweater, holding a Samsung bag, using a Samsung umbrella, and covering himself in a Samsung blanket, that I thought it worthy enough to dedicate an entire blog post to.

As I listened to and read through our developers’ recap of the event, it is clear that Samsung is here to stay when it comes to IoT. Samsung is pushing towards a vertically integrated IoT platform to speed up development cycles. Samsung revealed ARTIK , which is an end-to-end, integrated IoT platform that transforms the process building, launching and managing IoT products. While it’s not clear how transformational it will be, it is apparent that Samsung is keeping security in mind as they are building this new product. ARTIK is a System on Module (SoM) with built-in security. Their solution includes a hardware Secure Element, with machine learning for anomaly detection, and a software Trusted Execution Environment (TEE). The ARTIK cloud will make it easier to share data between devices and the cloud using multiple protocols, including REST/HTTP, websockets, MQTT, and CoAP. Using ARTIK modules, users can quickly prototype their product and seamlessly integrate it with ARTIK cloud, or with a cloud of your choice.IMG_4794.jpg

Samsung leverages Samsung KNOX, initially an enterprise security platform, to secure everything, such as their ARTIK products and solutions, Samsung Pay, Samsung Connect Auto. Mocana’s VPN solution was integrated into KNOX at the early stages of its development and it is exciting to see how Samsung original security platform has evolved throughout the years. Read the press release here.

However, there seemed to be a lot of talk around open source, with presence from the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) and IoTvity, which is an open source software framework enabling seamless device-to-device connectivity. Here at Mocana, we are always a little wary of open source code, as the cleanliness and reliability of it is up for debate. Especially when it comes to security, open source has even more drawbacks. Updates are not consistent since most of the code is contributed by free workers which means there is a higher chance of outdated code that is prone to attacks. There are too many hands in open source software, and some hands do not have the best intensions. Of course, many contributors are there to make improvements and updates, but other use abuse this privilege to exploit product’s vulnerabilities, infect hardware and steal identities. If Samsung is walking down the path to secure on open source, it will definitely be a good game to watch to see how long their ARTIK platform can go before it gets inundated with attacks.

Anyways, enough Samsung talk for now. If you want to find out more about open source, please download our whitepaper here.

Peace out, for cereal.