Dojo with pebble
Like the $49 Cujo device, which successfully completed its Indiegogo funding on Nov. 13, the Dojo is a Linux-based unified threat management (UTM) security device that sits between your Internet source and Internet router. Other similarities include a soft, consumer friendly design and, weirdly enough, a four-letter name that ends in “jo.”
Dojo and Cujo are part of a new wave of technology solutions to save us from WiFi routers with inadequate, out-of-date security features against all but the most rudimentary of hacks. Solutions include routers such as CZ.NIC’s Turris Omnia, which are designed with improved security and automatic security updates.
In the past, home security hasn’t been much of a problem since the PCs, phones, and tablets that use the router’s services tend to have their own security protections. However, now that consumers are filling their homes with wireless-enabled home automation devices, most of which lack any security features, there are many more points of entry for malware and snoops, and many more devices that can be turned against you.
Dojo with pebble mounted in cradle (left) and separate, with mobile app
Dojo-Labs has kept much of the inner workings of Dojo under wraps. The 7.3 x 3.3 x 3.2, 1.3-pound device (minus the pebble) appears to have a pair of Ethernet ports and not much else. According to Atias, more hardware details may be disclosed at a later date.
With the help of a Dojo Cloud service that also automatically updates the threat detection firmware, the Dojo device continually analyzes network traffic and enforces the network’s security policies. The combination can detect and prevent a “large set of cyber threats,” improving vigilance over time by studying your devices and finding patterns in connected device behavior, says Dojo-Labs.
Dojo’s pattern recognition algorithms do not need to examine your data or even necessarily match an attack to a list of known viruses and malware threats, says the company. The analysis is amplified by the cloud platform, which collects metadata from all connected Dojos. No private data is collected, promises Dojo-Labs.
For those who do not want to continually check their mobile iOS and Android app to view updates on network security, Dojo provides a portable techno-orb called a pebble. The device glows different colors to let you know if someone is trying to sneak onto your network. The pebble, which has a six-month battery, glows green, orange, or red, depending on the security status.
Most security and privacy risks are “automatically mitigated without a user involvement,” says Dojo Labs. However, code red situations require user involvement.
The pebble may prove to be a bit of a gimmick that may add unnecessarily to the price. However, we applaud such efforts to attempt new UI paradigms for the home that don’t require users to squint at a panel readout or check their smartphones.
Basically, anything connected to your router is protected, says Dojo-Labs. Dojo protects smartphones, tablets, and computers, as well as IoT gateways and home automation hubs. It also protects connected devices like IP cameras, baby monitors, smart locks and alarms, energy management systems, TVs, media players, connected printers, and more, says the company.
In a TechCrunch interview, Atias notes that Dojo can alert you not only to viruses and phishing attacks, but also snooping from the manufacturers behind your connected devices. He notes, for example, that some smart TV manufacturers harvest your behavioral data without letting you opt out. Dojo can alert you to such intrusions, he says.
Dojo is available at Amazon.com for a presale price of $99, which includes a one-year subscription to the Dojo cloud service. Additional yearly subscriptions will cost $99 per year, although other pricing options may be considered, says Dojo-Labs. When the devices ship in March, the price jumps to $199 with a one-year subscription. More information may be found at Amazon’s Dojo shopping page and the Dojo-Labs website.