Experience in the Internet of Things has already shown us that security and privacy are crucial issues for the systems that we are connecting to our networks. The IoT is young but already stories abound of failures resulting in compromised data, service denials, injury and material damage.
For many system designers, this is a new world of concerns. In many cases the systems they designed for "un-connected environments" were out of the public eye or the value of their data was not evident. Connecting these systems to networks changes all that:
- Wireless signals are spotlights that identify machines which one might connect to
- Network connections facilitate access to systems in spite of physical location or protections
- Previously un-interesting data might have value if associated with the actions or presence of the system's users
- Previously un-interesting systems might allow one to access other high value systems to which they are connected
Not only do threats and risks change when you migrate a system to the IoT, but it continues to evolve. In the IoT, system designers must evolve security to meet evolving threats and risks.
For this reason, IoTize™ solutions were conceived from the outset to integrate security technologies, to simplify security implementation and to offer scalability to meet diverse requirements. Early in its development phase, the design worked with industry leading partners in microelectronics and digital security to identify the key technologies to integrate into the IoTize infrastructure and to audit this.
The result is a scalable security approach in all product lines (TapNLink and TapNPass). This infrastructure offers system designers the choice of either low-overhead, software-based security measures or more resistant hardware-based security measures (embedded Secure Element). Securing features include data encryption that is adapted to resource constrained processors, packet signature and a choice of software or hardware-based key management.
By default, IoTize radio modules are designed to secure communication from the Cloud to the IoTize module. But users can also choose to implement IoTize's S3P protocol in their application, making it possible to secure all communications from the Cloud to the core of the target system's processor.
For system designers, this security infrastructure makes it possible to manage a user’s access to specific data or functionality of the target system. Further, access to any memory address in the target system can be managed efficiently through “user profiles.” Profiles optimize the use of the IoTize module’s memory and processing capabilities. Profiles also simplify the definition of user access rights by organizing access to data or capabilities according to a user’s role and not to a specific person's identity.
For example a “general user” profile might allow read-only access to a piece of information coming from the system, whereas as a “maintenance user” profile may allow configuration of the system (i.e. writing multiple pieces of information to the target system’s memory). The IoTize radio module is configured only with the capabilities associated with a type of use – the profile. A specific user is then granted access to the capabilities of the “maintenance user” profile when provided with a “key.” This key (and the associated access rights) can thus be attributed and revoked. It can even be temporized, thus allowing access for a specific period of time.
With this approach, it is possible for system designers to configure the IoTize module for a variety of uses in a way that is efficient from the design, production and deployment perspectives.