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IoT Edge Device Security

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Transferring data to and from IoT devices is central to any IoT ecosystem, and this data must be secure and authentic in order for it to be trusted. The best way to ensure this happens is to use digital certificates or keys to act as unique credentials for all the components in the ecosystem.

Managing these keys is a critical activity within an IoT security infrastructure. More complex implementations require Defense in Depth, where multiple layers of keys are used to safeguard against data being compromised. With this “more than one key to the kingdom” approach, if one key gets exposed a widespread data breach is still averted.

 

Key Management Implementation

A key management architecture should be designed in the Before Life stage of an IoT device’s lifecycle. It is during this stage when requirements are defined – how will keys be managed, where are they required, etc.

The actual key management system is implemented and tested before IoT devices are rolled out. During the Before Life stage, key management takes place in a pristine lab environment, so efforts must be made to consider real world complexities. The key management architecture must be robust and scalable enough to effectively handle in some cases many thousands of devices, physical locations, and end users.

The key management architecture must also secure data throughout the IoT ecosystem: Boot Devices/Firmware, Data in Motion, Data at Rest, the IoT application itself, physical locations and device end users.

As an example, an IoT enabled medical device such as an MRI machine requires key management for the device itself, each hospital and department where the machines are deployed, and individual technicians and patients to ensure the data is secure when it is being transmitted, accessed and stored.

 

Key Management Technology

A key management implementation must be robust, scalable and easily managed in a real world, complex application environment in which a significant number of key requests are generated.

Technologies are available to manage keys at scale for enterprise level applications. One key management technology provider is KeyFactor, an Allegro integration partner. KeyFactor specializes in providing certificate lifecycle automation and other IoT device security solutions.

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