An Interview With Víctor Mayoral Vilches, CTO Of Alias Robotics

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Below is our recent interview with Víctor Mayoral Vilches, CTO of Alias Robotics:

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Alias Robotics?

A: Alias Robotics is a robot cybersecurity company. We take a roboticists’ approach to cyber security and deliver security solutions for robots including consulting services and products. We are mostly known for RIS, the Robot Immune System. A security certified software that protects robots and robot components against malware. At its core, RIS is an Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) for robots, one that gets installed directly into robotic systems and learns about their behavior over time. Our customers include large automation companies, government institutions and industrial robot users.

Q: What is your core competence?

A: Our core competencies in cybersecurity, robotics and industrial automation. Our team is made up of renowned robotics engineers, biologists and security researchers with experience going back more than 10 years.

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Q: Could you tell us something more about RIS(The Robot Immune System)?

A: Sure, RIS is inspired by nature, and it gets installed directly into robots delivering an integrated suite of protection technologies. At its core, it’s a robot Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP), one that includes a next-gen antivirus, hardening for known robotic flaws, data encryption, intrusion prevention mechanisms or data loss prevention, among others. RIS detects, prevents, stops and informs on a variety of threats that affect the robotic system. We build RIS carefully for each different robot brand/type combination, and as the Human Immune System (HIS), RIS adapts to its environment and evolves over time.Currently, we support more than 40 different robots, across manufacturers. Beyond endpoints, we also have support for the Robot Operating System (ROS), securing robot computational graphs and ensuring secure robotic processes that use ROS.

Q: What’s the best thing about Alias Robotics that people might not know?

A: We are leading robot cybersecurity research and have classified this 2020 more than 1000 vulnerabilities for robots, many of which were found by our researchers. Moreover, about a fifth of those have been publicly disclosed in an open repository to fight against the security by obscurity trend in robotics.

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Q: What are your plans for the first half of 2021?

A: We are fully involved in the security certification of our product. RIS is in the process of becoming security certified according to IEC 62443 part 4-2. We’re targeting a security level that meets most industrial needs and growing into higher levels over time, across our different supported robotic platforms. Also, we have two more exciting projects coming up in 2021. First, in cooperation with other research groups, we will launch hundreds of robotic honeypots to the internet and collect data from the interactions attackers have with them. Second, 2021 is going to be the year of 5G and we will make sure our security solutions for robots are ready for it. For that, we will co-create together with Telefónica a robotics cybersecurity lab where we will research how these systems can remain secure on modern mobile networks, including 5G.

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