Microchip Announces An Innovative IoT Security Solution
On October this year 2018, there were shocking revelations about Iranian cybercriminals trying to hack U.K. universities. They targeted universities offering government certified cybersecurity courses in a campaign that is thought to have lasted month. During their attempts, the cybercriminals managed to access one university’s accounts. The proverbial hunter became prey. This incident is just one in the many that we have had this year. More importantly, it underscores the importance if cybersecurity mostly so in this era of IoT. The growth and prosperity of IoT are largely pegged on impenetrable security. As if picking a cue from this, microchip came up with the industry’s end-to-end security solution for all IoT devices.
Microchips end-to-end security solution for IoT devices
Microchip Technology is a renowned manufacturer of microcontroller, analog, mixed-signal and Flash-IP solutions. Its security solution covers IoT devices that connect to Amazon Web Services IoT. Microchip collaborated with AWS to come up with an integrated solution that would help IoT devices to quickly and easily comply with AWS IoT’s mutual authentication security model.
This is a big deviation from the traditional scenario where the third party manufacturers devices that connect AWS IoT service must take various actions to comply with AWS IoT. Third party manufacturers first need to pre-register their security authority with AWS servers. Every IoT device will then need to generate a unique cryptographic key that is mathematically linked to the pre-registered security authority. More importantly, these unique keys have to remain secret for the entire lifetime of the device. The generation and secure handling of the unique keys is a formidable challenge.
The collaboration between Microchip and AWS is meant to simplify this process. Microchip’s AT88CKECC kit allows customers to meet AWS’s security standards of mutual authentications model in an easy and fast manner during both evaluation and engineering phase. The AWS-ECC508 chip also assists manufacturers in meeting AWS’s security standards during the prototyping and pre-production phase. The devices are then customized for production stages in a bid to ensure information security in customer applications.
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Users have to simply solder the IoT device on the board and connect it over the 12C to the MCU that runs AWS SDK that supports the ECC508 device for AWS IoT. This eliminates the need to load unique keys and certificates that are required for authentication during manufacturing. The AWS-ECC508 is configured such that it is recognized by AWS without any intervention.
Amazon Web Services and Microchip’s ECC508 complement each other with comprehensive mutual authentication security capabilities. The ECC508 is sturdy and is able to withstand environmental and physical tampering. It also embodies a high-quality random number generator that internally generates secure unique keys hence giving ECC508 the ability to seamlessly accommodate various production flow cost effectively. The ECC508 is primarily a low-power processor which makes it ideal for IoT devices which are typically resource constrained.
This solution has made the implementation of IoT security bearable and easy for both manufacturers and users. It has successfully removed the stumbling block that stood in the way of IoT adoption in the industrial sector. It can only be hoped it will continue to fend off cybercriminals for as long as it has so as to provide a conducive environment for IoT innovation.