AUTHENTICATION

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM OF FIVE TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE AUTHENTICATION OF IOT DEVICES


Five core technologies (from different vendors) provide a solid foundation of integrated services with which IoT device authentication can be delivered.  TrustCentral builds upon (but does not provide) these five authentication technologies.  They are described in the section below entitled “A CORE, INTEGRATED TECHNOLOGY STACK FOR IOT DEVICE AUTHENTICATION”.


CLOUD-TO-DEVICE: AUTHENTICATION and 2-DIMENSIONAL IOT

When employed in an integrated manner, these five technologies are generally sufficient to provide authentication for the IoT device services described as “2-Dimensional”.  They are “2-Dimensional” because they support IoT device authentication, security and management from a-central-point-to-an-endpoint.  Two excellent examples of such authentication are the cloud-to-device connection and management offerings of AWS Greengrass and Azure IoT Hub.  Such 2-Dimensional IoT services are excellent for devices that don’t need to collaborate with other devices; and are particularly useful for devices that don’t have to operate in hostile environments.

Central-point-to-an-endpoint is the traditional application model of Public Key Infrastructure – PKI.  PKI is well known and is becoming utilized more broadly in IoT management and security. TrustCentral leverages PKI in order to support the innovative and proprietary building blocks of its Trust Stack.

  • 2-D IoT is a vital component of IoT security
  • 2-D IoT views IoT devices on an individual basis
  • 2-D IoT services are currently available in high quality

 

 

Examples of cloud-to-device connection and management include:

AWS Greengrass and Azure IoT Hub


TECHNOLOGY STACK FOR AUTHENTICATION OF 2-D IOT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


PKI

The key foundation of the Trust Stack is Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). PKI is also the foundation of security for the Internet itself. The Platform will incorporate a complete X.509 PKI and Privilege Management Infrastructure (PMI).


DEVICE ROOT OF TRUST

IoT security begins at the device level with a unique, securely stored or accessible, non-volatile ID or private key in order to provide a secure root of trust. For an IoT device such a root of trust can be achieved the chip level through the use of one or more existing technologies. In one example, a digital “fingerprint” can be created using a small portion of a device’s silicon with the application of PUF (Physically Unclonable Function) technology. The PUF becomes a digital “anchor” to provide vital, security-supporting capabilities.  Another method of establishing a root of trust is key injection into the chip during its production process (key injection must be executed with precision using industry standard procedures).

To take full advantage of the Security Ecosystem features, IoT devices are provisioned with crypto capabilities allowing them to perform functions such as encryption and decryption of data, digital signing and other functions. Provisioning should include the installation of public keys to trust (not only for trusted firmware updates but for secured needs such as for an IoT device to allow trusted access by a maintenance group). Crypto implementations must also anticipate future threats from quantum computing to present day crypto algorithms.

(For human-controlled devices such a computers, tables and mobile devices, other technologies can be used to provide a comparable root of trust.)


DEVICE IDENTITY CERTIFICATION

The system provides for the authentication of a cryptographically-secure, non-repudiable identity tied directly to each IoT end-point. For example, an identity may be as a particular vehicle ECU (Electronic Control Unit), sensor, etc. Validation of that identity is confirmed by the issuance of a PKI certificate.  (Note that the Security Ecosystem can manage the process of authenticating identities and issuing these certificates.)


SECURITY BEST PRACTICES

The TrustCentral solution implementation includes the adoption of industry best practices. One of the most important best practices secure boot.  Another is secure, signed firmware updating and management. Every IoT device within a vehicle (or devices within external infrastructure that a vehicle might interface with, etc.) should be updatable with authenticated, signed firmware. There are a variety of standards that can be used to accomplish this including Over the Air (OTA) . Further, firmware updates may be executed on different firmware types (e.g., boot images, higher-level embedded code, underlying software components) as well as being accomplished in chunks in order to minimize device power consumption.


ANOMALY DETECTION, FAILURE REPORTING

Anomaly detection of IoT events or observations that do not conform to expected patterns is highly recommended. Alsosoftware failures (such as a buffer overrun induced by an attacker probing security) need to be reported to central failure analysis system.