Published on 21 November, 2013
INSIDE Secure and Intrinsic-ID recently announce they are bringing to market a new class of secure microcontrollers for smart cards and other applications that apply Hardware Intrinsic Security(TM) (HIS) to provide the highest levels of security for cloud-based transactions. Hardware Intrinsic Security technology uses the unique attributes of a device to extract high quality security keys, which in turn make the process very secure. By combining INSIDE’s proven secure microcontroller designs with patented HIS technology from Intrinsic-ID, the companies will use the unique physical characteristics of each chip to protect cryptographic keys, and thus make the devices extremely hard to clone or reverse engineer.
Modern ICs are unique due to the deep-submicron process variations manifested during manufacturing. The Intrinsic-ID HIS technology built into a device, such as a secure microcontroller, takes advantage of this physical uniqueness to enable cryptographic keys to be protected without their value having to be stored. Since no key material is present at rest, a very high security level can be achieved.
The HIS-based microcontroller chips will be packaged in multiple formats, the first being a USB smart card token to support the Intrinsic-ID Saturnus(R) secure cloud application. The Saturnus application runs on mobile phones, tablets and PCs. It offers total protection of digital data stored in the cloud. With Saturnus, files are encrypted before they leave the device and are uploaded to the cloud. The encryption keys are generated and managed inside the (USB) hardware security token plugged into the user device, making the Saturnus solution unique in the sense that key management is put back in the control of the end user.
“Through our cooperation with Intrinsic-ID, the undisputed leader in HIS technology, we will bring to market a new class of smart card chips and modules that support the Saturnus application,” said Bernard Vian, executive vice president of the secure transactions division at INSIDE Secure. “HIS-based smart card tokens will be able to protect the digital assets users store in the cloud just as people today use a physical key to protect their home or car.”
Biometrics for electronic devices
Perhaps best thought of as ‘biometrics for electronic devices,’ the HIS technology developed by Intrinsic-ID offers an extra layer of protection for the already substantial dedicated anti-cloning and other physical security protections offered by all INSIDE secure microcontroller products.
“In addition to securing payment transactions, provisioning media content and protecting data in the cloud, the INSIDE Secure smart card chips and tokens will offer top-level security and key management flexibility to protect a whole new class of applications. These may include machine-to-machine, smart grid, track-and-trace and many other applications as they emerge from the rapidly developing Internet of Things,” said Pim Tuylis, CEO at Intrinsic-ID. “We are thrilled to be working with INSIDE Secure to enable top-level security in cost-efficient ways to these fast-growing and potentially vast markets.”