The Abstract Truth

Mocana and Symantec Partner to Protect the Internet of Things

Posted by rbpasker on May 27, 2010

Why do malware authors target PCs? Because of the sheer volume of them.

But as we learned today, mobile devices are growing at 5 times the rate of PCs.

And with WiFi or Ethernet chips now appearing in “things” like TVs and disk drives, and arriving soon in every electronic device in the home, the potential for malware instability (AKA SkyNet) is increasing exponentially.

That’s why Symantec announced a strategic partnership and an investment with Mocana. Mocana makes a “device security framework” that secures communications and data on any connected device.

Mocana’s CTO is James Blaisdell, the best emebedded software developer I have ever met (and those of you who know me know that I have met quite a few of them in my time). I have had the pleasure of working in various capacaties with James at four different companies over the last 16 years.

He first worked for me in 1994 as a QA engineer at Tribe Computer Works, and after I left he took over my work on a 56Kb serial driver I had been working on, redesigning it using a unique technique that I had never before seen and making it much faster than my original .

A couple of years later he started RapidLogic along with a few other people from Tribe who also worked for me, and sold that company in 2000 or so for $56MM to Wind River (now part of Intel). I served on RapidLogic’s Board of Directors.

When James decided to leave Wind River, which had acquired RapidLogic, I hired him on the spot at Kenamea, knowing full well that it was a waypoint for him while he decided what his next venture would be. James built the embedded versions our product for Palm, BlackBerry, and Windows mobile simultaneously, from scratch, in just a few months, which is quite a feat since he had never before programmed on any of those unique platforms.

James left a year later to start Mocana (which happens to have been the code name of one of our releases), and not long after that I wrote a check as one of the first investors in this venture. What makes his effort at Mocana so extraordinary is that James knew very little about security before starting Mocana, and over the last 5 or so years he has become one of the world’s foremost experts in a field notorious for being among the most dense and difficult areas of computing.

So, congratulations, James and the rest of the Mocana team. You have come a long way, and I am very proud of you.

One Response to “Mocana and Symantec Partner to Protect the Internet of Things”

  1. semaj said

    I think that guy owes a lot of credit to a guy by initials, rbp. RBP mentored him, and gave him a lot of great insight into embedded systems. The signal2() call for preventing a context switch within a device driver, segmenting apps correctly, and the importance of automation.

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