ST & Sigfox extend industrial and consumer IoT security

February 24, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
STMicroelectronics has developed its STSAFE family of secure elements with the introduction of a plug-and-play solution that provides advanced security features to devices connected to the Sigfox low-power wide-area network (LPWAN). Its STSAFE-A1SX is an optimized and certified (CC EAL5+) secure element that provides activation and secure connection to the Sigfox LPWAN IoT network.

The STSAFE-A1SX secure element (SE) is based on a tamper-resistant Common Criteria EAL5+ -certified SE technology that enhances the integrity and confidentiality of transmissions to and from the IoT device over the Sigfox network. The secure element runs an optimized secure application that combines ST's expertise in electronic security for applications in banking, e-commerce, and identity with Sigfox's expertise in networking and data communications for the emerging IoT world.


STSAFE-A1SX is a tiny and cost-effective secure IC solution that connects to the microcontroller of the IoT application or module via an I ²C connection. The chips are provisioned in ST's secure-personalization centre with device ID and keys that allow plug-and-play secure connection to the Sigfox cloud, and further ensure data-exchange integrity and confidentiality. Whether the frame is an uplink or downlink message, the STSAFE-A1SX secure element generates or verifies payload proof of integrity as well as optional encryption or decryption. Keys and other secrets are always protected inside the secure element during manufacturing and over the end device's full life.


"By executing Sigfox security services within our certified tamper-proof STSAFE-A1SX, we support Sigfox Ready device makers and Sigfox application providers to implement state-of-the-art end-to-end security," said Laurent Degauque, Secure Microcontroller Marketing Director, Microcontroller and Digital ICs Group, STMicroelectronics. "The STSAFE-A1SX makes security over the Sigfox network even stronger and more straightforward. Our customers simply attach this secure element to their general-purpose MCU, such as an STM32, and focus on application development."


"It's more important than ever to consider and plan the security architecture at the very beginning of the design and development of an IoT solution," said Laetitia Jay, CMO at Sigfox. "Working closely with STMicroelectronics has been fundamental to offering state-of-the-art certified tamper-resistant security to our ecosystem of partners and customers. The integration of the ST secure element with the Sigfox libraries, the STM32, and the S2-LP sub-1GHz transceiver, provides an ultra-low power, high performance