This IoT endpoint protection security system uses standard MCUs and MPUs

27-06-2016 |   |  By Paul Whytock

A series of embedded security solutions that use standard microcontrollers (MCUs) and microprocessors (MPUs) as new security structures for embedded devices that will function as IoT endpoints has been developed by Renesas.

The first product in the series is the RX231 Communications Security Evaluation Kit. This kit provides an evaluation board and a range of software, to prevent virus infections over communication channels.

It is the control of encryption keys that relate to passwords to protect information that is essential for implementing strong security functions. Because encryption keys were previously stored in flash memory or other nonvolatile memory they were at risk of malicious access.

Recently there has been progress in supporting the IoT whereby a variety of devices is connected to the Internet for improving industrial productivity through data collection or remote control for energy saving. But Renesas says overall network security in the IoT tends to be weak since the scale of these systems is small, especially in edge devices at the end of the network such as sensors. To assure that edge devices do not become a platform for attack on the whole network it is necessary to make edge devices more intelligent.

To address these issues Renesas has developed a technology that protects encryption keys using trusted secure IP hardware that features both an encryption engine and reliable protection of encryption keys. By also providing an evaluation board and software the RX231 Communications Security Evaluation Kit serves as a one-step service and simplifies implementation of security and communications functions.

The encryption engine supports both encryption and decryption using either 128-bit or 256-bit encryption keys as stipulated by AES (Note 2). It also supports ECB, CBC, GCM and CMAC, which can be used for authentication and modification detection.

Access monitoring functions are provided so that when an illegal access is detected further access is blocked.

The RX231 on-chip trusted secure IP 32-bit MCU evaluation board provided in the RX231 Communications Security Evaluation Kit includes a USB and SDHI wireless LAN communications expansion board interface and can be connected to a wireless LAN communications expansion board.

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By Paul Whytock

Paul Whytock is European Editor for Electropages. He has reported extensively on the electronics industry in Europe, the United States and the Far East for over twenty years. Prior to entering journalism he worked as a design engineer with Ford Motor Company at locations in England, Germany, Holland and Belgium.

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