LEGIC’s position in the “second machine age”

“New technologies are evolving but are revolutionary in the extent of their impacts.”

This statement by Prof. Dr. Ralf T. Kreutzer on the effects of the current digitalization in all fields of society is highlighted by a number of examples of economic history. In view of the rapid speed, the fate of companies such as Nokia or Kodak definitely seems to have occurred long ago for many of us.

Digital revolution

Anyone who has recently visited the industry hotspots IAA, CeBIT or Hannover Messe will have got an im- pressive idea from the exhibits and presentations of what awaits us in the coming years: The processes of change that are accompanying digitalization are accelerating exponentially! Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0, big data and cloud are the terms that dominated communication from the exhibitors represented there.

According to Prof. Dr. Kreutzer, the actual acceleration, the real dynamic of change is still pending when it comes to digitalization. With it comes dematerialization: A multitude of well-known physical products have already been replaced by a smartphone app. But one or two critics will counter this by saying that cash has successfully given cashless alternatives as good as it gets up to now. However, in the field of virtual payment, there are major changes to the point of sale business models on the market due not least to the smart technology and resulting options for use: A switch from income from payment transactions to income from other service providers, such as the data basis aggregated by purchasers and traders. As a result, it is thoroughly conceivable that a multitude of “things” will mutate into a point of sale on the Internet.

Possible solutions from LEGIC

LEGIC is focusing on this development with its solutions aimed at this market development:

  • The need for security by integrating the relevant state-of-the-art and common criteria hardware standards (secure elements) into the reader chip.
  • The demand for comfort by expand- ing communication by Bluetooth Low Energy technology.
  • The demand for mobility by suppor- ting most mobile devices.
  • The demand for simple technology integration by preparing the relevant software development kits (collec- tion of finished programs to develop new software) and application programming interfaces.
  • The demand for protection and trust through secure hardware, software and data communication from a single source.

Building on competence that has developed over more than 20 years in the fields of low power communica- tion ICs, secure, contactless data transmission and application manage- ment, the new technologies represent an incredible opportunity, especially, for all those involved in the LEGIC eco system. New forms of human-machine interaction and accompanying digital business models are possible.

Increasing attack “surface”

Our digitalized world is vulnerable, the security requirements of an IoT environment are complex. Previously, data was saved on a server or on the computer in an office. As a result, attacks were limited to a few systems, which were still switched off most of the time – in the case of the desktop PC – meaning they were not accessible. It’s different with the “things” of the Internet. Most “things” are battery-operated, always switched on and online, because otherwise they lose their advantage. Application data and business logic are saved in clouds, making them open to attacks from all over the world. The attack surface in an IoT environment has grown considerably. Attacks often go unnoticed. In contrast to physical break-ins, network attacks leave virtually no traces. The stealing of data is often only discovered far too late, if it is at all.

This makes it far more important to protect data (and with it money) from attacks. With the first networked computers in the 1990s, it quickly became clear that a firewall and virus filter were needed to protect data. It’s not so obvious for a cheap thermometer that is connected to the Internet. Even supposedly worthless data must be protected as it can suddenly become valuable in new business scenarios and can be very beneficial to someone.

Security thanks to LEGIC

For a number of years, AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encoding has been established for data encryption. But security cannot just be measured by the cryptography used. The distribution and management of cryptographic keys, together with confidence in a system and the generated data, remain very important points.

LEGIC creates precisely this confidence with its end-to-end encrypted data transmission. The following scenario best explains how the latter works: An offline device, equipped with LEGIC chip technology, should be registered for the Internet of Things. As soon as a user places his smartphone with an app with cloud application near the device, this app guides the user through the registration process. The LEGIC Connect Trusted Service then transmits an encoded authorization to the app, so that the user can operate the device with his smartphone.

The registered IoT device is clearly identified by the use of the LEGIC chip. The end-to-end security between the device and the cloud of the client creates a secure communication channel for over-the-air data exchange – for example, the recording of opera- ting hours or transfer of software up-dates. Furthermore, the data is saved in a securely encoded format in the cloud and is only legible with the authorized key.

LEGIC is one of the only companies in the world to offer a secure end-to-end solution. With LEGIC’s open technology platform, you are perfectly equipped to implement secure and innovative IoT solutions.