embedded security

Posted On 15. March 2016 By In Identification, Security Blog

IT Security for Embedded Systems

Various markets discovered the Internet of Things (IoT) for themselves and develop more and more products and devices. There are areas like Smart Grid, Connected Car, Smart Home & Building, personal health & fitness, or Smart Factory and Industry 4.0. Each of the subjects offer plenty to talk about in separate blog articles. But there is one thing that all of them have in common. And that is supposed to be the topic of this article: Security for the Internet of Things.

Facing Increasing Security Needs

So when we talk about all those areas of the IoT we also need to talk about security. Researchers estimate that four billion people will be connected worldwide by 2020. According to them, about 25 billion smart objects and embedded systems will be in operation. In total 50 billion Gigabyte of data will be exchanged. So it is obvious that we are facing increasing security threats with increasing global networking. It is of essential importance that issues like data protection, privacy and data security have to a topic of discussion.

increasing global networking

Global connected objects and systems

Securing Sensitive Data

Semiconductor manufacturers take this issue seriously and are working on solutions to solve the subject of device authentication. Solutions that are not only software-based, but that are a combination of written code and hardware. In a lot of cases software-based solutions were used for device authentication. The problem here is that code can often be compiled, analysed and copied. As far as this has happened attackers are able to manipulate it for their needs. Then it is only a small step for them to retrieve sensitive data for instance. Thus, it is necessary to develop much more effective ways for product authentication, embedded security or IP protection. Data transmission and data storing needs to be protected more effectively, with the help of secure encryption devices.

Hardware Reinforcement

There is a solution, offered by the German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies, which implements an additional security anchor into devices for authentication. The OPTIGA Trusted Platform Module (TPM) provides hardware-based-security. It is a security controller for cryptographic operations and protects critical data like keys or passwords. The chip is specified by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), a consortium of leading manufacturers of the IT industry formed to develop, define, and promote open standards for hardware-enabled trusted computing and security technologies.

Infineon Optiga

Infineon OPTIGA TPM

Make Embedded Systems more Secure

The deployment of TPM in personal computers is a success story for many years already. Furthermore, due to the increased security requirements, it is used in more and more connected systems such as industrial automation, smart homes or the automotive industry. Embedded systems also benefit from the generic security features of the TPM and the numerous advantages of standardization. Those standards ensure an easy implementation into traditional operating systems (OS) such as Windows or LINUX.

Security in embedded system creates added value by protecting sensitive data of manufacturers and users. This was also the topic in a presentation of security experts from EBV Elektronik and Infineon during this year’s embedded world conference in Nuremberg. If you need more information, please reach out and contact one of our experts.

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