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The Key to IoT Security in Smart Homes

Addressing security concerns in an increasingly connected world.

www.eetasia.com/, Mar. 14, 2023 – 

When everything is connected, everything is at risk. The proliferation of internet of things (IoT) devices for smart homes has raised security and privacy concerns to their users. By implementing a hardware root of trust, the authenticity, integrity and confidentiality of devices are enforced, and smart homes are protected against would-be attackers.

Security in IoT should never be an afterthought. Over the years, attacks have become more frequent, sophisticated, devious and targeted. From the voice assistant to the baby monitor to the smart-heating system, billions of smart-home devices are now vulnerable to endpoint intrusions.

To establish a foundation of trust, IoT device makers need to get identities and keys into their devices and keep these assets secure. Intrinsic ID, a spinout of Royal Philips Electronics, has developed IP solutions based on physical unclonable functions (PUFs) to secure connected devices.

Securing trust

With the explosion of connected IoT devices per household, it has become critical to ensure data security and privacy preservation. Every device potentially represents an entry point for malicious intrusion, from the device itself to the network it is connected to.

A hardware root of trust is the foundation for protecting smart-home endpoints and services. It establishes an anchor point for the chain of trust by creating a unique, immutable and unclonable identity to authorize a device in the IoT network.

For many years, PUFs have been deployed as a hardware root of trust. A PUF is a physical structure from which a device-unique and unclonable cryptographic key is created. It leverages the deep submicron variations that occur naturally during the chip-manufacturing process and gives each transistor slightly random electrical properties.

There are different ways to use a PUF to secure a device. Eindhoven, Netherlands-based Intrinsic ID has built a foundation of trust based on static random-access memory (SRAM) PUFs.

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