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End-to-end security for IoT devices connects to AWS

End-to-end security for IoT devices connects to AWS

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By Jean-Pierre Joosting



Microchip and AWS collaborated to develop this integrated system to help IoT devices quickly and easily comply with AWS’s mutual authentication IoT security model. Using the latest security system from Microchip will help companies implement these security best practices from evaluation through production –  adding a high level of security, simplifies the supply chain, and is now one of the fastest ways to connect to the AWS Cloud.

Currently, third party manufacturers of devices that connect to AWS IoT service must take specific actions to comply with the advanced security model. First, they must pre-register their security authority to AWS servers in order to establish a trust model. Second, for each IoT device they must generate unique cryptographic keys that are mathematically linked to the pre-registered security authority. Finally, the unique device keys must remain secret for the life of the device. In volume production, the generation and secure handling of these unique keys can be a daunting challenge in the chain of manufacturing especially where third parties with different trust and compliance levels are involved.

Microchip’s end-to-end security system handles this process during three production steps. First, the AT88CKECC kit will allow customers to meet the security standard of AWS’s mutual authentication model and easily connect to the AWS IoT platform during the evaluation and engineering phase. Second, the AWS-ECC508 device assists with meeting security standards during the prototyping and pre-production phase. Finally, devices will be customized for production stages to ensure information security in customer applications.

Customers simply solder the device on the board and connect it over I2C to the host microcontroller (MCU) which runs an AWS Software Development Kit (SDK) leveraging the ECC508 device for AWS IoT. Once this is complete, there is no need to load unique keys and certificates required for authentication during the manufacturing of the device as the AWS-ECC508 is pre-configured to be recognized by AWS without any intervention. All the information is contained in a small (3- x 2-mm), easy to deploy crypto companion device.


AWS and the ECC508 device naturally complement each other with comprehensive mutual authentication security capabilities. The device has strong resistance against environmental and physical tampering including countermeasures against expert intrusion attempts. In addition, the device features a high quality random number generator, the internal generation of secure unique keys and the ability to seamlessly accommodate various production flows in the most cost-effective manner. A typical IoT device consists of a small [8-bit] microcontroller, and is battery powered. It is typically constrained for resources like central processing unit (CPU) performance to provide low latency responsiveness, memory and code space for security protocols and for how much power they can consume in order to preserve battery life. The ECC508 device has a low-power processor-agnostic cryptographic acceleration for compatibility with the widest range of resource constrained IoT devices.

www.atmel.com/tools/at88ckecc-aws-xstk.aspx
www.microchip.com

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