Sensor security remains a major concern for IoT professionals across every industry. The reason for this resides mainly in the fact that sensors simply cannot support the energy and memory space that software execution of encryption protocols demands. Help may be on the way though as MIT researchers have announced that they have built a new chip that aids in this task. This new chip is engineered to perform public-key encryption, yet requires only 1/400 as much power as software execution of the same protocols would. It also uses about 1/10 as much memory and execution can be up to 500 times faster. The researchers expound on the details of the chip in a paper they’re presenting this week at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference. How does this translate to real world IoT applications? In essence, the majority of encryption functionality that used to be in software is transferred into hardware. While this also provides immediate efficiencies in power and cost of operation, another key advantage is it enables much simpler implementation.
Most sensitive web transactions are protected by public-key cryptography, a type of encryption that lets computers share information securely without first agreeing on a secret encryption key.