Wireless user-authentication platform for IoT-device security

January 05, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
STMicroelectronics and ClevX have co-operated to offer a technology that allows smartphones and wearables to authenticate with secure IoT devices via Bluetooth Smart: the platform comes with jointly-authored reference designs for secure portable storage media use ST’s BlueNRG chips and ultra-low-power STM32L0 MCUs.

STMicroelectronics and ClevX, an intellectual-property company and technology developer based in Seattle, Washington, and active in portable storage and mobile devices, have announced the first DataLock-secured encrypted portable storage media with Bluetooth Smart wireless user authentication.

Users can interact with secure portable storage (full-disc, XTS-AES 256-bit encryption) from their smartphones or wearable devices where all user data on the drive is encrypted and can be locked/unlocked using single- or multi-factor authentication. The technology is suited for consumer, corporate, and industrial applications such as healthcare, home automation and security, secure-access control systems, and portable data storage.

“IoT-device authentication has long required trade-offs among security, convenience and mobility. The ClevX DataLock BT-secured portable storage provides the capability to actually enjoy the best of all worlds,” said Luca Difalco, VP of Marketing at STMicroelectronics’ Americas Region. “While we’re demonstrating the capability in an easy-to-use hardware-encrypted secure USB-Drive, the elegance and versatility of the solution is provided by an application that we can add to our BlueNRG device to make lock-down security accessible via Bluetooth Smart.”

ST and ClevX have reference designs for secure portable storage media, including Flash, hard-disc, and solid-state disc drives. These designs use ST’s Bluetooth Smart chips (BlueNRG) and ultra-low-power STM32L0 MCUs and are available for licensing and partnerships, including both ST/ClevX-based hardware and firmware in addition to the related smartphone and wearables apps.

The ST/ClevX reference designs are OS-host agnostic. USB drives with the DataLock BT technology operate across all computer platforms and embedded systems while providing various easy-to-use security layers (including a wireless lock/unlock mechanism, phone as an authentication factor, phone + PIN, or phone + PIN + userID/location/time). The reference designs support USB Remote Management, which can be critical for corporate deployments and remote password resets, drive disabling and erasing, and successful implementation of corporate-wide policies.

“With the sensitive personal and corporate information that people carry on their USB drives, loss can easily lead to substantial financial