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Intel’s Pathfinder for RISC-V secured by Check Point Quantum IoT Protect

Editor’s brief: If you have followed the saga of personal computing since the 1980s, you would most likely know of the Apple Macintosh versus the PC running Windows battle. Then, both computer systems ran on CISC (complex instruction set computing) microprocessors or “chips”. with Apple Mac embedded with Motorola 68k while PCs ran Intel x86 (and later AMD x86 too). Along the way, Apple danced with RISC (reduced instruction set computing) with the PowerPC chip (jointly developed by Apple, IBM and Motorola), but eventually went to x86. Most recently, Apple went back to RISC again, this time the M1/M2 chip based on ARM. For most of the smartphones in the world, they would most likely be using an ARM variant (Qualcomm Snapdragon, Mediatek, Exynos, and yes, Apple’s ARM too), all RISC chips. So, it came as no surprise the old man on the PC world, Intel, has also embraced the RISC platform, through the RISC-V platform. Mind you, RISC-V has a stellar heritage, which started from UC Berkeley by Dr David Andrew Patterson, a noted computer scientist and academic. Why RISC? RISC is elegant and uses little power, and so designs can be tiny and efficient, unlike CISC architectures. Intel’s Pathfinder for RISC-V will most likely interest IoT and other embedded application developers, where low power usage and computational elegance will be very useful. And leading cybersecurity vendor Check Point Software leaning on this with its Quantum IoT Protect will be useful in a world quite frequently threatened by cyber threats. Read more below.

Singapore Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), a leading provider of cyber security solutions globally, has announced a new collaboration with Intel Corporation. Check Point Quantum IoT Protect will be made available within Intel’s new platform for IoT device developers – Intel® Pathfinder for RISC-V*.

Traditionally, cybersecurity has been an afterthought in the design process of IoT devices, such as IP cameras, routers, HVAC systems, medical devices, and more. This is because they tend to have limited processing power and storage, leaving little room for traditional security software. IoT devices also run older operating systems that cannot be patched, use weak or default passwords, and are not monitored for security breaches.  Unfortunately, cybercriminals target these vulnerable IoT devices as an entry point into a corporate network. Once inside the network, they can move laterally across the enterprise to gain access to sensitive intellectual property and data that they can exploit through malware and ransomware.

Miri Ofir, R&D Director at Check Point Software commented: “Cyberattacks are increasing in number and sophistication all the time. It has never been more important for IoT device developers to prioritize cybersecurity, not just to win a competitive edge or comply with emerging regulations but to give their end customers enterprise grade security and peace of mind. We are honored to be chosen to enable security for Intel® Pathfinder and look forward to all the new devices that will be developed with our security features.”

Intel Pathfinder for RISC-V is a new platform for SoC (system on a chip) architects and system software developers to define new IoT products. By enabling Check Point Quantum IoT Protect within the platform, IoT device manufacturers will be able to integrate state-of-the-art security at the beginning of the product lifecycle. Check Point Quantum IoT Protect with Nano Agent® technology is an embedded runtime protection solution designed to identify and prevent sophisticated attacks in real-time, even zero-day vulnerabilities. The Check Point IoT Nano Agent® technology secures 100% of the firmware, including third-party components, without impacting the performance of the IoT device.

Vijay Krishnan, General Manager, RISC-V Ventures from Intel, said: “Intel® Pathfinder for RISC-V* represents our ongoing commitment to accelerate the adoption of RISC-V and catalyze the ecosystem around an open-source and standards-based vision. We wanted to ensure this was done with state-of-the-art security, which is why we are working with Check Point.”<

For more information about the Intel Pathfinder, please visit pathfinder.intel.com

* Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. No product or component can be absolutely secure.

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