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Tuesday, March 06, 2018

MISRA-compliant embedded crypto toools target IoT

By Nick Flaherty

MISRA is a safety-critical code-checking standard for C that is more common for automotive designs, with a number of tools implementing the checks (see below) but it is now being applied to crypto for the Internet of Things (IoT).

HCC Embedded has launched a suite of embedded cryptography tools using the MIARA standard so that IoT devices can be managed securely. This provides a complete end-to-end security solution focused on system-level design and software-quality issues that are unfortunately largely unaddressed in the industry.

All the software libraries for CryptoCore are managed through HCC’s Embedded Encryption Manager (EEM), which provides a high-quality standard interface to any hardware or software cryptography implementation. This greatly simplifies the design process, makes software portable, and enables use of software crypto-libraries or hardware-accelerated algorithms on chips that provide them.

Available libraries support authentication, confidentiality, and integrity strategies through Base64, DSS, Elliptic Curve, Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman, MD5, RSA, SHA, DES, and Tiger. EEM provides a universal management interface for software- or hardware-based acceleration, where available, on microcontrollers including NXP Kinetis and i.MX, TI TM4C, and STM32 MCUs. The Renesas RX controllers though are notable by their absence.

Discussions about security tend to focus on the algorithms rather than on real-world issues faced by embedded-networking engineers. Because large-scale hacks of modern algorithms are almost unknown, the pressing engineering challenge is how to design a system that is secure and of quality sufficient to minimize security risks.

HCC handles such issues by providing end-to-end security solutions appropriate for real-world applications and by providing evidence of the quality processes and standards used. All components are compliant with HCC’s rigorous MISRA standards and are provided with full compliance reports. All MISRA rules are applied and any exceptions are identified and explained. Advanced test suites are also available.

“Software defects cause security weaknesses but well established quality processes can be used to minimize the risk to system security,” said HCC Embedded CEO Dave Hughes. “HCC is committed to following strong quality processes and providing the evidence to system designers to help them create more secure networks.”

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