Table of Content

  1. Setting the Stage For IoT
  2. Current IoT Landscape
  3. Cryptographic Schema and Encryption Methods
  4. Understanding PKI
  5. State of IoT Security
  6. The Clear Conclusions
  7. Identity Based Encryption and IoT
  8. Introducing VIBE  - Modern IBE Designed for IoT
  9. Components and Architecture
  10. Implementing VIBE
  11. VIBE Value Added Benefits
  12. VIBE Total Cost of Ownership
  13. VIBE Security Lifecycle Management
  14. VIBE Use Case Scenario
  15. Summary and Conclusion

Setting the Stage for IoT

Deployed IoT devices projected to be 75.44 billion by 2025.

Setting the Stage for IoT

By 2030, IoT has projected $14.2 Trillion impact on the Global GDP

Current IoT Security Landscape

The market is massive and projected to reach $69.88 by 2025

Current IoT Security Landscape

The Situation is Dire. The list of serious cybercrimes includes documented attacks on connected cars, power grids, water systems, nuclear facilities, and the critical infrastructure supporting hospitals and airport security systems.
Security is the Leading Barrier to IoT Adoption

Cryptographic Schema and Encryption Methods

Symmetric Encryption
  • Sender and Receiver share common secret to communicate
  • Encryption and decryption process use the same key
  • Most widely used symmetric encryption algorithm is Advanced Encryption Standard (AES); developed in 1998 and standardized by US NIST in 2001
Asymmetric/Public Key Encryption
  • Uses two different keys – a public key to encrypt messages, and a private key to decrypt
  • Most widely used asymmetric encryption algorithm is RSA; developed in 1976 , patented (US only) in 1983, and released to public in 2000

Cryptographic Schema and Encryption Methods

Hybrid Encryption
  • HE Combines convenience of a public key cryptosystem with the efficiency of a symmetric key one
  • Leverages strength of both for faster, more secure communication
  • Adds a second factor of security top cryptosystems
Identity Based Encryption
  • Conceived in 1984 and commercialized in 2001 based on work by Boneh and Franklin
  • In Boneh-Franklin model, users public key based on identity of user (e.g. email). Trusted Key Generation Centre issues Private Key to user upon request, and following user authentication
  • Eliminates need for Public Key Distribution and Management

Understanding PKI

Public Key Infrastructure is a set of policies and procedures designed to establish secure information exchange. It uses a combination of public and private "keys" to encrypt messages, and to authenticate the identity of the sender of a message.

The 5-Step PKI Process

  1. To ensure the authenticity of its public key, the subject sends a certificate to the relying party.
  2. To get a certificate on its public key, the subject asks a Registration Authority (RA).
  3. The Registration Authority then issues a certificate request on the public key of the subject. This request is made to the Certificate Authority (CA), which could be a government, or any independent, trusted third party.
  4. To create a certificate, the CA needs its own certificate delivered by a more secure party called the root CA. This root CA is online only to issue CA certificates, making it more difficult to compromise.
  5. The root certificate allows the relying party to verify the certificate of the subject.

PKI Common Application Segments

PKI Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths
  • When properly implemented PKI is effective in protecting large enterprises
  • PKI is a good solution for mass signings (1 to N relationship)

Weaknesses
  • PKI is highly vulnerable to cyber attacks (stolen, fake, unrevoked certificates/TLS Signature tampering)
  • PKI is very complex (only 5% of all PKI installations are correctly implemented)
  • PKI is costly with 3-year TCO of ~$167 per user/thing

State of IoT Security

IoT Manufacturers have effectively ignored security
  • 80% of deployed IoT devices are not secure (Source: Ponemon Institute)
  • 50% of US companies that use IoT devices have had a security breach; average cost of security breach for $5m company is $650k (Source: Altman, Valandrie and Company)

The IoT security challenge is not only about protecting future IoT devices and related networks/platforms/applications from being compromised by cyber attacks. It involves eliminating the security risk inherent in the tens of millions of devices that are already deployed.

The Current Approach to IoT Security

Despite the proven vulnerabilities with PKI, its crippling complexity, its prohibitive cost and its complete lack of scalability to the levels required for IoT, the entire industry continues to force-fit this technology – invented in 1976 - into the IoT ecosystem.

The Clear Conclusions

With so much at stake, it’s imperative that our connected world move on from PKI – technology designed in another century for another purpose.
The situation is dire, and the solution lies in understanding and applying the principles inherent in modern Verifiable Identity Based Encryption – VIBE.

Identity Based Encryption and IoT

In its niche market – key management for encrypted email – IBE is an effective crypto scheme. It was not designed for IoT, however, and as such has two inherent weaknesses.

  • IBE cannot viably validate the sender of a message
    • effectively impossible and highly impractical with the initial IBE schema, given the very high computational requirements and related prohibitive communication costs.
  • IBE is susceptible to Man-in-the-Middle attacks on the Public Parameters
    • when the public parameters are changed, a common occurrence in a dynamic IBE environment, there is no way of verifying that they haven’t been altered, placing the entire IBE system at risk.

VIBE – Modern IBE Designed for IoT

VIBE (Verifiable Identity Based Encryption) applies recent academic research which yields much greater efficiency in the computation of pairings over elliptic curves than IBE, creating a more secure, very practical public key scheme – ideally suited for IoT

Unlike IBE, VIBE Verifies the Sender of a Message

Guarantees messages are sent to intended recipient
Unlike IBE, VIBE Eliminates the Need to Protect the Public Parameters

Eliminating risk of MiTM attacks

VIBE Components

Components of a VIBE implementation in a generic trusted environment. The components can vary depending on the hardware architecture of the trusted environment.

VIBE Software Architecture

The software architecture of a VIBE Cryptosystem ensures end-to-end secure communication.

The uniqueness of VIBE is that this superior level of security can also be achieved over a non-secure communication channel.

VIBE Hardware Security Module

An HSM is a powerful, Trusted Execution Environment which enables high-level security for back-end applications. It is the recommended security device to house the VIBE TC that provides the root of trust in a VIBE-enabled system.

VIBE Hardware Secure Element

A Hardware Secure Element is a System on a Chip (SoC) that provides an MCU, RAM, Secure Flash, a hardware accelerator for public key operation, a True Random Number Generator (TRNG), and a safe execution space for the crypto-algorithms.

VIBE Message Exchange

The VIBE-enabled communication process is fast, simple, economical, and completely eliminates the threats inherent in PKI.
The VIBE key exchange mechanism is impermeable to a man in the middle attack as the public key is the ID of the device and the TC parameters are verified before the encryption, making the peer-to-peer communication fully authenticated.

Implementing VIBE

VIBE is not a stand-alone product or service. It is a sophisticated cryptographic “ingredient” that can be integrated into any type of application to provide stellar end-to-end security.

Implementing VIBE

The VIBE API set is designed to fit any type of hardware configuration, ensuring that virtually any device can be protected by VIBE

Implementing VIBE

When using an embedded system or a computer that doesn’t provide hardware secure storage, and where no secure element is available to delegate the execution of the VIBE algorithm, the VIBE API remains the same, which makes the integration of VIBE totally transparent to the execution environment.

Implementing VIBE

This diagram shows the end-to-end configuration for the private key deployment. The deployment server is used to create the VIBE firmware, and to manage the key deployment. Only the administrator of a given system can authenticate to the VIBE Trusted Centre and install the private key of a device for this system.

Implementing VIBE

VIBE’s certificate-less schema affords its users the opportunity to easily and economically scale to any level on a peer-to-peer basis – including the massive deployment models that characterize IoT.

The VIBE deployment model for a manufacturer makes use of different, independent VIBE groups.

Setup keys are deployed during the Trusted Centre registration process.

VIBE Value Added Benefits

VIBE is “Social by Design” whereby a given Trusted Centre can authorize users in other Trusted Centres to communicate with its members.
Once all devices are registered, the Trusted Centre can be taken offline, completely eliminating the threat of cyberattacks on the TC. It can be easily returned to online status to accommodate adds/changes/deletions.

VIBE Total Cost of Ownership

Compared to PKI, VIBE’s reduced communications and infrastructure costs, and ongoing operational improvements yield:
  • 60% savings for one-time expenditures
  • 40% savings on recurring expenses
  • 30% savings on personnel costs

VIBE Use Case

Building Automation Systems (BAS) today rely mainly on PKI, and often fail to establish the safety and privacy framework required for such mission-critical systems (50% are vulnerable to cyberattacks)
A sample setup of a smart meter communication within a BAS environment is shown. The VIBE protected deployment is set up, and then taken offline, effectively eliminating threats from “online” attackers.

VIBE Use Case

To ensure seamless IoT security deployment, VIBE Cybersecurity maintains, manages and controls embedding of its VIBE technology through a detailed Security Lifecycle Management approach which governs the complete IoT enrollment, set-up, operations and ongoing management processes, including key reissuance and revocation

Summary and Conclusions

The current approach to securing IoT is based on PKI-based cryptographic systems developed in another era for a different purpose. These systems are costly, complex and have myriad vulnerabilities that are easily exploited by cyber criminals.

A sample setup of a smart meter communication within a BAS environment is shown. The VIBE protected deployment is set up, and then taken offline, effectively eliminating threats from “online” attackers.

A VIBE system is less complex, less costly and substantially more secure than current PKI systems. It is modern cryptography that fully addresses the many challenges inherent in securing the Internet of Things.

VIBE Whitepaper – Version 1-6-TCO-2019 | © Copyright VIBE Cybersecurity International LLC