Autonomous Key Management (AKM) - A Simple, Secure, & Cost-Effective Cryptographic Cybersecurity Solution

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-2101

Published:
  • 2017-09-19
Abstract:
In today’s “Internet of Things” connected environments, devices communicating in Over-The-Air (OTA) networks must securely authenticate to each other using a certificate-based Key Management System (KMS). This presentation introduces Autonomous Key Management (AKM) - an innovative and disruptive KMS that increases security and safety while lowering the total cost of ownership for an OTA network. Potential targets for aerospace and military targets are: 1) Internal Module-to-Module encrypted communication within an air vehicle’s communication network; and, 2) Peer-to-peer encrypted communication within low-cost and/or Low-power IoT networks. 3) Protecting communication assets within Battlefield Intranets. 4) Assuring high standards of functional safety in safety-critical communication networks In presenting AKM technology, this presentation will discuss how AKM enables simple, secure, efficient, cost-effective symmetric encryption within environments that have been thus far proven difficult to provide a cryptographic Key Management System (KMS) within the cost, performance, and power utilization constraints imposed by those environments. Initial target environments for AKM are those employing traditional a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) based KMS, which require significantly higher latency, power, and CPU utilization, as well as significantly higher management overhead and Total Costs of Ownership (TCO). AKM’s simplicity offers advantage over PKI with both technical and administrative advantages: o Technically, an AKM-based KMS provides a low complexity, low latency, high entropy, minimalist footprint (under 20K-bytes), ultra-low power, crypto-agnostic, KMS that can run on existing ECU endpoints, including very small sensors, without requiring additional expensive cryptographic processing hardware. That said, AKM can be integrated with existing NIST/FIPS compliant soft and/or hard HSMs and we recommend it to be used in combination with a hardware firewall solution to leverage the self-healing KMS capabilities of AKM. o Administratively, an AKM-based KMS greatly simplifies the entire certificate management problem by eliminating the need for potentially billions of certificates when enumerated across an entire fleet of vehicles or large scale industrial deployments, over even just a few years. Additionally, AKM provides self-healing capabilities, which when combined with its simplified, maintenance free operation, make AKM the most economical, cost-effective, simplified cryptographic KMS. In summary, AKM-based KMS is simple, elegant, and highly efficient, while providing enhanced performance, improved security, and a lower Total Cost of Ownership.
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