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Riscure contributes to the IoT security research effort

Riscure announces its participation in the research project known as PROACT. PROACT or “Physical Attack Resistance of Cryptographic Algorithms and Circuits with Reduced Time to Market” is a project initiated in 2021 and funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). It aims to improve the security of the IoT devices and chips.

Electronic devices and chips collectively known as the ‘Internet of Things’ play an increasingly important role in consumer markets as well as critical infrastructure. When IoT devices process, store or transmit sensitive data, it is important to ensure proper protection. However, methods to secure the data have significant influence on the cost, and introduce other challenges relevant for the IoT industry, such as energy consumption and time to market. Developing secure IoT devices is therefore a balancing act between maximizing the security and minimizing the overhead. This brings an important challenge of developing cryptographic implementations that are efficient and secure at the same time. Hardware security is an important consideration here, i.e. protection of secrets from side channel and fault injection attacks.

The PROACT project is an extensive development covering all aspects of cryptographic implementations in IoT, from designing secure algorithms to protection of fabricated chips. It is therefore a major collaboration between private businesses and research institutions. Among organizations involved in the project are University of Leiden and Radboud University, as well as Signify, Intrinsic ID, Neurasmus, DSP Valley, Rambus, NTU Singapore, HTX Singapore and Cadence UK.

Riscure’s contribution to PROACT will be in evaluating the design of new circuits using Inspector Pre-Silicon. Inspector Pre-Silicon allows to predict potential vulnerabilities of an actual chip during the design stage, thus minimizing the risk of costly redevelopments. In addition to that, Riscure will contribute with testing the actual hardware for Side Channel and Fault Injection vulnerabilities.

Durga Lakshmi Ramachandran, Innovation Director at Riscure, commented: “PROACT is a major effort that aims to solve an inherent security problem for the IoT industry by providing an efficient and robust encryption within the typical constraints of an IoT device. We are excited to be a part of this development. In this project Riscure will be able to test the capabilities of its tools, both in the Pre- and Post-Silicon stages. We are also expecting new advancements in the security expertise that will hopefully improve the general approaches to secure development in the hardware industry”.

The PROACT project is a five-year effort. It is expected to be completed in 2026.

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