New approaches to hardware embedded roots of trust, authentication and encryption have emerged for embedded systems with programmable logic components in the form of PUFs (Physical Unclonable Functions). Enthentica's PUF technology uses the electrical and physical variations of the silicon to create a unique DNA like finger print or "Biometric" identifier for that specific device. Using the randomness (entropy) in the silicon our PUF can generate a virtually unlimited number of unique bitstrings or keys as the "identifier" to support authentication and encryption functions.
In today’s world of distributed computing and the Internet of Things it is often difficult to be certain that throughout the system each party is the “trusted” device that you believe it to be. Currently, Identifiers (Keys), stored on the device in the Non-Volitile Memory and used for Authentication and Encryption can be hacked and stolen, imposters can insert themselves into the network, malware can be injected, back-doors can be engineered. This problem is even more acute as more edge devices are connected to the network or cloud and not easily inspected for physical tampering and software hacking.
Security and trust have become critically important for a wide range of existing and emerging micro-electronic systems including those embedded systems in aerospace and defense, industrial ICS and SCADA environments, autonomous vehicles, consumer products, home automation and medical devices. The vulnerability of these systems is increasing with the proliferation of internet-enabled, machine to machine connectivity and unsupervised in-field deployment. Authentication and encryption are heavily dependent on Trusted environments and the integrity of all connected devices.
Enthentica's device enrollment process establishes the basis for our proprietary communication protocols. With the device specific Biometric key (identifier) the authentication protocols utilize challenge-response pairs specific to the respective device and known only to our cloud servers. Once authentication is completed device to server or device to device communication is securely established and encrypted data can be exchanged between trusted parties. Once authentication is completed the PUF key disappears and cannot be copied or stolen with probing or machine learning attacks.
It is essential to have ultra strong roots of trust and authentication methods, much like DNA or a Biometric finger print that is impossible to clone to assure real certainty of authenticity and trust. Securing the Supply Chain with anti-tamper and anti-counterfeiting measures have become paramount in security. At the first stage of the fabrication of the chip the PUF can be installed to insure the integrity and security for Trust and Authentication throughout the manufacturing process to final installation and fielded use.
Critical systems including DOD, Aerospace and municipal infrastructure have grown more suseptical to catastrophic cyber attacks that can have irreversible consequences. Accordingly, an embedded system on a device that is part of an onboard system or connected to the network and cloud must be viewed as a vulnerable access point and protected. Once again the Enthentica PUF provides one of the most secure alternative to maintain a Trusted environment.