Microsoft makes Azure Sphere available to all

Azure Sphere chip
(Image credit: Microsoft)

After launching a preview of Azure Sphere almost two years ago, Microsoft has announced that its comprehensive security solution aimed at securing Internet of Things (IoT) devices is now generally available.

The software giant first introduced Azure Sphere back in March of 2018 and at that time, the company said the technology it uses first came from a Microsoft Research project called Sopris. The security solution is also based on a version of Linux built by Microsoft.

Principal group program manager at Microsoft, Halina McMaster explained that Azure Sphere is made up of four components in a blog post, saying:

“Azure Sphere is a fully realized security system that protects devices over time. It includes four components, three of which are powered by technology, the Azure Sphere-certified chips that go into every device, the Azure Sphere operating system (OS) that runs on the chips, and the cloud-based Azure Sphere Security Service. The fourth component may be the most important: our Azure Sphere team. These are some of the brightest minds in security and they’re dedicated to the security of every single Azure Sphere device.”

Azure Sphere chips

Azure Sphere chips are now being built into IoT devices to power single-chip computers with processors, storage and memory called microcontrollers. The MediaTek MT3620 was the first dedicated Azure Sphere chip and it launched alongside the service's preview back in 2018.

Last year though, Microsoft revealed that it is also working with NXP Semiconductor NV on a newer chip for Azure Sphere called the I.MX 8 which has been designed to handle AI and graphics processing tasks. The software giant is also currently working with Qualcomm on another Azure Sphere-certified chip that will provide secure connectivity for IoT devices.

McMaster went on to provide more details on the built-in security in each Azure Sphere chip in her blog post, saying:

“Every Azure Sphere chip includes built-in Microsoft security technology to provide a dependable hardware root of trust and advanced security measures to guard against attacks. The Azure Sphere OS is designed to limit the potential reach of an attack and to make it possible to restore the health of the device if it’s ever compromised. We continually update our OS, proactively adding new and emerging protections.”

Now that Azure Sphere is generally available, expect more businesses to adopt the service as organizations look to expand their fleets of IoT devices in the securest way possible.

Via Silicon Angle

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.