securing connected devices
Aleksandr Värä

Aleksandr Värä

Head of IoT

Danfoss engineers technologies that enable the world of tomorrow to do more with less. Danfoss products and services are used in areas such as refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, motor control and mobile machinery. In addition, the company is active in the field of renewable energy as well as district heating infrastructure for cities and urban communities. Danfoss employs more than 25,000 employees and serves customers in more than 100 countries.

The challenge

When traditional manufacturers enter the industrial IoT marketplace, they need to secure their digital assets. Duqu, Stuxnet, Mirai and similar malware was the start of a trend of attacking connected devices in industrial environments. With IoT just about to lift off, industries are witnessing increasingly connected devices being at risk of being breached or used as weapons to attack other environments. As in the first wave of connectivity enthusiasm, the unexpected appearance of malicious actors was typically overlooked by vendors during product design and development phases, which left device security ignored.

Our solution

Together Danfoss and Nixu have jointly developed a clean slate security platform based on modern elliptic cryptography and manageable, streamlined and mostly automated PKI. As part of platform functionality, every device gets a strong cryptographic identity during the manufacturing stage, which is then used to secure all later transactions and communication on the open Internet. The ability to address, group and manage devices with the help of a virtually unforgeable device identity also introduces new security and business-critical capabilities in license management, remote monitoring and maintenance, software updates and other areas. Ensuring root-of-trust integrity with the help of some innovative hardware mechanisms results in the devices being tamper-proof and resistant to even advanced physical attacks.

Customer benefit

The new security platform enables Danfoss a highly secure way to perform preventive maintenance and new business models. As a result of the new security platform, Danfoss will also ensure even better product quality throughout the lifecycle in a cost-efficient manner.

 

Danfoss appreciates the new opportunities presented by the digital world. With more software built into our products, we can offer our customers appropriate control systems, intelligent data and functionalities – thereby improving user-friendliness, performance, and quality. It is imperative that we have the best possible data protection in place to do so. Nixu’s expertise has elevated us to the forefront of security in the industrial automation space, says Theis Solberg Hjorth, the senior security architect in Global Research & Development at Danfoss Drives.

 

This pioneering work of Danfoss and Nixu received international recognition at KuppingerCole’s European Identity & Cloud (EIC) Conference. Danfoss’ IoT security framework project was recognized with an esteemed European Identity & Cloud Award 2017 in the Best IoT Security Project category.

This customer case was originally published as a press release on May 12, 2017.

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