Security Experts:

Avira Helps ISPs, Manufacturers Build Security Into Routers

Avira, a firm known mostly for its antivirus products, announced on Monday the launch of a new IoT security solution designed to help Internet service providers (ISPs) and router manufacturers protect their customers’ home networks.

Avira SafeThings is a router application and behavioral threat intelligence platform that offers benefits for both service providers and end users. By installing the product on the routers they provide to customers, ISPs can prevent malicious activity, such as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks coming from their networks. As for router manufacturers, SafeThings can help them deliver value-added IoT security services.

End users whose routers have Avira SafeThings installed gain complete visibility of the devices on their network, and obtain information on potential threats via a simple user interface. The vendor claims the product has zero impact on browsing and streaming performance.

According to Avira, SafeThings uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to create a profile for each device and establish its normal behavior, and develop protection policies. The security firm says the product only analyzes metadata on gateway traffic, which eliminates the need for invasive deep packet inspection (DPI).

SafeThings uses a software agent named Sentinel to fingerprint IoT devices connected to the router, and enforce protection and communication rules generated based on data from the Avira Protection Cloud.

The product also includes an API named Data Forefront that allows service providers and OEMs to control SafeThings functionality, such as specifying the type of action that is taken if a hacked device is identified.

“We've designed SafeThings to effectively solve the IoT vulnerabilities without being too invasive, expensive, or complicated for the end user – and we've done this in a way that provides additional benefits for the internet service providers and router manufacturers,” said Travis Witteveen, CEO of Avira.

“We see SafeThings as a 'B2B2C' product, providing consumers with the security and privacy protection they need while delivering it to them via the internet service providers and router manufacturers. As an embedded software solution, SafeThings is imminently flexible according to each client's technical and marketing needs,” Witteveen added.

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Eduard Kovacs is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.