March, 2020 Continued from previous page

trusted platform module (TPM). These security options have

already proven themselves — in tap- proof mobile phones, in bodycams for security authorities or in fraud- resistant cash registers. The integra- tion of the cards and their security features is very simple. The cryptographic tasks are del-

egated to the memory cards with secure elements using PKCS#11 (public-key cryptography standard)

....the memory modules with secure elements

provide the option to give M2M communication participants a unique ID. This way, a “thing” knows that the data or data queries received from

another “thing” are correct and that the source is truly the system component that it claims to be.

programming. The API defines the functions required for creating, mod- ifying, using, and deleting crypto- graphic objects on secure flash cards. These objects can be X.509 certifi- cates, RSA private/public key pairs, elliptical key pairs, symmetrical keys, or data objects. A PKCS#11 application pro-

gram is also supplied, which allows all security features to be easily retraced. It uses the PKCS#11-API and implements a command line interface (CLI) to the PKCS#11-com- patible tool or the open-source xca tool, an application with GUI for handling X509 certificates. With xca, the user can create

requests for certificate signatures, using the PKCS#11-API, based on prepared material on the Swissbit card and copy the certificates onto the card. Also, RSA and ECDSA key pairs can be created on the card. A practical reason for using

PKCS #11 is that even Mozilla Fire - fox uses it. The Swissbit PKCS#11 library integrates with Firefox and uses X509 certificates for the SSL- client authentication. These are stored on the Swissbit flash card and secure access to and communication with websites.

PKCS#11-API offers OpenSSL

engine support, meaning OpenSSL can access objects on the card direct- ly. Regularly used security mecha- nisms can be implemented securely, using memory cards.

Security on a USB Stick Recently, Swissbit presented

the latest addition to its secure flash memories, the USB 3.1 PU-50n DP. Since the introduction of USB 3.1, this interface has gained increasing popularity for use in industrial appli- cations.

The USB is very user-friendly,

particularly as an interface for main- tenance tasks, such as data transfer or copying updates to devices. However, in IT security, USB has had a dubious reputation, but pre- cisely these negative experiences make a good case for using Swissbit’s new flash drives. A simple security routine on devices equipped with USB interface blocks access through the interface, should the USB stick

F Fiind us a d us at booth 3319

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Page 71 Industrial Flash Memory with Security Features

not follow the requested authentica- tion protocol. The USB stick offers additional

options for memory usage that is not possible with SD memory cards. The memory on a USB stick can have its memory divided into different areas, where every section provides sepa- rate mass storage with freely config- urable data security. Thus, data pro- tection for each section can be con- trolled flexibly. As access policies for each parti-

tion CD ROM emulation, public par- tition and hidden WORM memory are available. The CD ROM function can provide read-only data, such as boot media, software installer or other data that must not be overwrit-

ten. The private partition encrypts and protects data and it is unlocked using a PIN logon. In the WORM area, data can be

logged and protected from manipula- tion. The public partition can be used the same as any commercially avail- able USB stick. The USB standard offers many possibilities, but is also susceptible to risks that are referred to as bad USB attacks. In this case, the USB stick has hidden features that following an unauthorized firmware update result in a compro- mised user host. Authenticity, coun- terfeit and integrity protection are an efficient solution to protect against these attacks. The combination of security and

memory in a removable storage medi- um has three key benefits. Read-only applications in industrial applications with a long lifecycle must be replace- able. Replaceable storage media are better suited for solutions where secu- rity features are added to existing sys- tems, for retrofit and future-proof designs. Finally, cybersecurity is a con-

stant race. Modules for security solu- tions should be easily replaceable when upgrades are necessary. Contact: Swissbit NA, Inc., 238

Littelton Road, Suite 202b, Westford, MA 01886 % 978-490-3352 E-mail: Web: r

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Want to know more about our solutions and products? Contact us at 410-770-4415, send an email to or visit our website at

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