Predicting 2018: Manufacturers Shift to Hardware Security

The market for cybersecurity is getting more saturated by the hour. Companies and products keep popping out of the woodwork, claiming to provide new flavors of security that Keep You and Your Data Safe! A few of these solutions are good. Most of them are not. What’s undebatable, though, is that security is now the sine qua non of technology. Now more than ever, security is viewed by both vendors and consumers as a priority.

For 2018, this means that spending on security will continue to rapidly increase. We expect to see 2018 security budgets rise across the board after high-profile 2017 attacks including Wannacry, Petya, and Equifax.

The money, however, will be destined for new places.

For the first time, a lot of the money spent on cybersecurity will begin to funnel back up the tech supply chain—away from software security producers to device makers and even up to silicon designers and manufacturers.

Middle-of-the-ecosystem companies (i.e. device companies) are starting to see security as a real differentiator for their businesses. They spot an opening: If tech devices are able to guarantee security as something that’s inherent to the device right out of the box, device customers will be able to eliminate the liabilities and the headaches they’re required to bear in today’s struggle for security. No more tangled webs of defensive and reactive software, no more armies of InfoSec employees, no more “patch and pray” cycles … the list goes on. Instead of having to layer an entire arsenal of security software on top of their endpoints, device customers (and makers, for that matter!) would be able to count on silicon-enforced, device-guaranteed security.

Such a shift would allow device companies to charge a real premium for the products they sell, especially in higher security-conscious areas of the market (and there are many of them).

To help usher in this new cyber security world order, device companies are looking to their silicon designers for solutions “at the source.” Device makers want robust security designed directly into the billions of chips they put in their products. Because they know that the market share they crave will be won by the company that’s first to the party, they’re acting aggressively.

This is part of a greater pendulum effect happening in tech right now.

Hardware ruled the early days of the tech boom (it’s Silicon Valley, after all), but then the internet came along and software took the throne. When security first emerged as a top-of-mind issue, software was the coolest kid in school. So, everyone tried to tackle security with software. But now, with the connected device and IoT age upon us, hardware’s back. All the cool innovation is happening in the connected things space (with the exception of the amazing work being done in AI … where the greatest impact will be felt in the “things” space, so yeah, what I said before).

As the software-back-to-hardware pivot happens, the world is waking up to the fact that software-only security doesn’t really work. At the end of the day, tech is only as secure as its hardware can guarantee.

Today, security is squarely a hardware issue, and it’s never been more important. Tech development is reflecting that, and security dollars are following. And if you watch the money, you’ll reach the conclusion being realized across the tech space right now: Hardware is the only technology that will ever be able to forever eliminate cyberattacks.

This article was co-authored by Julian Scherding, Marketing Manager at Dover Microsystems. Julien works to achieve Dover’s business goals in marketing finance, and business development. Prior to joining Dover, Julian worked for Boston-based investment manager Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co., and for the U.S. Commerce Department at the U.S. Embassy in Paris.  Julian earned a BS in Political Science & Economics from Northeastern University.

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May 29, 2018
Jothy Rosenberg

Jothy Rosenberg

As a serial entrepreneur, Dover Microsystems is the 9th tech startup that Jothy has founded and/or run since 1988. Prior ventures include MasPar, Novasoft, Webspective, GeoTrust, Service Integrity, Ambric, Mogility, and Aguru; two of these companies sold for over $100M. Earlier in his career, Jothy ran Borland’s Languages division where he managed development of languages including Delphi, C++, and JBuilder. He earned his BA in Mathematics from Kalamazoo College and his PhD in Computer Science from Duke University (where he also had his first career as a professor of computer science for five years).

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