Every one of us has gone through the frustration of seeing unwarranted ads sneak through our networked systems. The same paths give way to phishing and malware, exposing our connected smart devices to all kinds of threats. While this device was created to protect a single user and their smart connected devices from cyber threats, we already see applications of this small and powerful device in industrial control systems for intrusion prevention and network segmentation.
What it does
EKORouter implements a network security stack that provides isolation from the internet for all your connected devices, protecting them from intrusion. By giving you a wide variety of interfaces to connect to your secure private network, it provides the possibility of creating a personal cloud, accessible from anywhere in the world securely and only by your devices. The secure interfaces provided by EKORouter include wifi, usb, mini-PCIe, GPIO, SATA, micro-SD and LAN interfaces. In personal and industrial network systems, EKORouter acts as an additional layer of security between the internet and the private network. Additionally, it can provide the added benefit of network segmentation. Therfore, any single device that is compromised does not compromise the entire network.
While the firewall functionality provided by EKORouter is available for businesses and industry, the solution is expensive (costing about $1000 per device) and is often overkill for most small organizations and businesses that do not require a large secure network. Often, such industrial firewall solutions come in bulky packages, thus, are expensive to deploy in the field because of high power consumption and large packaging. EKORouter provides the same firewall functionality in a small, power efficient package. This provides endless possibilities in terms of deployment in the field by being easily powered by a small battery and solar panel. The small package means that it is less expensive to secure against the elements. In a home setting, the device is also far less expensive compared to its competitors and yet, a smaller package.
EKORouter can be used independently as your only gateway to the internet to replace your router or it can be used in conjunction with the router you already have to provide isolation and security that traditioinal routers do not provid Since EKORouter uses opensource software, it is highly customizable to the needs of every single or business user. Therefore, you can buy EKORouter and make it your own, adding the security layers that you choose. Or you can subscribe to our yearly services for peace of mind to keep your device updated and safe from the latest malware.
How we built it
EKORouter sports the powerful Espressobin board for its implementation with its cost efficient and high performance capabilities. The choice of Espressobin board provides a whole array of network interfaces for connection including wifi, usb, mini-PCIe, GPIO, SATA, micro-SD and LAN interfaces. We have used a stack of opensource software tools to implement intrusion prevention and intrusion detection. Finally, EKORouter is packaged in a durable and light-weight laser-cut case that is airy enough not to require extra cooling for this small device.
Challenges we ran into
The greatest challenge was to make it completely secure from the external intrusion while also maintaining a fast performance.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
EKORouter is significantly cost efficient and high performance for its small physical size. It provides a powerful set of networking interfaces and provides a highly customizable cyber-security solution for industrial control systems to replace the high-cost devices and services currently available.
What we learned
We learned about a lot of unprotected networks managed by small businesses and even government organizations. Often, this is because users do not want to invest time and money on a solution that is too large for their small infrastructure and is too complex for them to implement in a short time and without much technical training. We are happy to have learned that, sometimes, even a simple solution like EKORouter can provide security for such businesses and single users who cannot afford to invest at lot of time and money in securing their network. We also believe that EKORouter can find applications in a lot of small civilian and millitary networks that are traditionally hard to secure. For example, the communications systems on military and civilian ships and water transport, personal vehicles and in the war-zones can be secured by this small, light-weight device on-the-go.
What's next for EKORouter
EKORouter is currently accessed by an open source interface. While it is easy to use for computer savvy userse, we want to build a more intuitive and user-friendly application for all our users. Another step for EKORouter is to get required certifications for industrial deployment. In the process of certification, we want to improve its casing for deployment in industrial environments where the device may be exposed to high temperatures, humidity, oil or other external elements.
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