Busting the Myths Around VxWorks #5: Security


In reality this isn’t a myth, it’s more of an awareness
problem. Our solution for the need for high robustness systems is the VxWorks
MILS product. VxWorks MILS is designed to provide Multiple independent Levels
of Security (MLS), a security concept that ensures that complete separation is
provided between secure and non-secure portions of a system (and that it is impossible to subvert this to gain access to the classified partition in the system from the non-secure). 

We have designed the MILS product to
conform to the
separation kernel protection profile as defined by the Common
Criteria (aka ISO 15408) and is currently undergoing official certification to
Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 6+. Now I appreciate this appears like a lot
of buzzwords but customers looking to build high robustness secure systems will
understand the need for this type of product. 

Now why is VxWorks MILS (and MLS) important technology? It
reduces costs. Rather than have redundant hardware to provide physical
separation of classified and non-classified information, MILS provides a way to
do this on one device. It also reduces the burden in the field (or battlefield)
to allow operators to have just one device that does secure and non-secure communication
rather than many. Our VP for Product Strategy and Marketing for VxWorks, Marc
Brown, recently did an
interview
with Military Embedded Systems Magazine on this very topic.