Scalable security platform for IoT device development

November 10, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Atmel proposes its Certified-ID Platform as a means of eliminating barriers to entry to a Secure IoT Ecosystem; it simplifies secure Certificate Generation and provides Security Tool Kits for smaller businesses.

The security platform aims to enable businesses of all sizes to assign certified and trusted identities to devices joining the secure Internet of Things (IoT). The Atmel Certified-ID security platform prevents unauthorised reconfiguration of an edge node to access protected resources on the network. This new platform is available on the Atmel SmartConnect Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart, and ZigBee solutions that connect directly to Atmel Cloud Partners, providing a secure turnkey solution for IoT edge node-to-cloud connection.

The Atmel Certified-ID platform delivers a distributed key provisioning solution, building on internal key generation capabilities of Atmel’s ATECC508A CryptoAuthentication device, without invoking large scale infrastructure and logistics costs. This new platform also allows developers to create certified and trusted identities to any device before joining an IoT network.

Today, secure identities are commonly created through a centralised approach where IoT device keys and certificates are generated offline and managed in secure databases in Hardware Security Modules (HSM) to protect the keys. These keys are then programmed into the IoT devices by connecting the HSM to automation equipment during device manufacturing. This approach is indispensable in large deployments consisting of millions of devices. It can also entail significant upfront costs in infrastructure and logistics which must be amortised over a large number of devices for cost effectiveness.

By using the internal key generation capabilities of Atmel’s ATECC508A device, the platform enables decentralised secure key generation, allowing distributed IoT device provisioning regardless of scale. This method eliminates the upfront costs of the provisioning infrastructure which can pose a significant barrier in deploying devices in smaller scales. The new platform enables developers to create secure IoT devices compatible with partner cloud services and the ability to securely join ecosystems.

Atmel is currently working with several cloud service companies including Proximetry and Exosite on the Certified-ID platform. These collaborations allow developers to select from a full suite of ecosystem partners for a secure connection between the