New security concepts for the IIoT

Licence management and security intertwine in the network of the Industrial Internet.

With the growth of Industry 4.0 and its enabling technology, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), there is an associated change in the way electronic systems are being integrated. Intgegrated circuit specialist, Infineon, is adapting its technology to support the growth in the IIoT and to assist its customers in the management of licences and the secure use of digital systems in industrial environments.

Security has long been the subject of intense debate surrounding the vulnerability of critical infrastructure and the connected enterprise. The “old” model of software protection using familiar anti-virus and firewall tools can’t easily or be mapped onto connected hardware and so an entirely different model is needed.

To this end, Infineon has teamed up with Wibu-Systems, a company specialising in IIoT security and licence management. The CodeMeter device lineup of Wibu-Systems, coming in the form of USB dongles, secure flash memory cards, and ASICs, is powered with Infineon SLM97 security cryptocontrollers to provide the highest certified secure repository for digital keys associated with encrypted software, firmware and sensitive data and their entitlement rights.

CodeMeter µEmbedded, a variant of the company’s technology designed for microcontrollers, has also been successfully integrated with Infineon products to ensure IP protection and secure licence updates and upgrades.

Infineon and its partners are now confident they’re able to trade technology data via a secure cloud, to defend industrial control systems from unauthorised and manipulative cyber actions and to enable secure identification with wearables via mobile devices using state of the art encryption mechanisms.

A novel application of licence management in Industry 4.0 is the ability to “trade” machine configurations and 3D Printing data, for example, to allow single or multiple usages of the data in real time with the licence expiring once the agreed usage has been reached and making it no longer available.

The concept applies to either shared cloud-based platforms or embedded electronics. According to Oliver Winzenried of Wibu-Systems, there isn’t a single industry that is left untouched by connected Industry and to make best use of the advantages it offers, there’s a need to protect intellectual property in equally novel ways.

Jonathan Newell
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