Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

STM consolidates cyber protection for IoT designers

Steve Rogerson
August 7, 2019



Swiss electronics company ST Microelectronics wants to consolidate cyber-protection resources for IoT designers through its STM32Trust ecosystem.
 
The goal is to guide designers’ efforts to build strong cyber protection into new IoT devices leveraging industry best practices.
 
STM32Trust combines knowledge, design tools and ready-to-use original STM software. These help designers take advantage of features built into STM32 microcontrollers to ensure trust among devices, prevent unauthorised access and resist side-channel attacks. All this averts data theft and code modification.
 
“Connected devices like smart sensors and remote actuators are intrinsic to our infrastructure and services, so ensuring effective security becomes of paramount importance,” said Ricardo De Sa Earp, general manager of STM’s microcontroller division. “STM32Trust eases developers’ understanding and acceptance of the new mandatory security rules, which is a key emerging challenge in the general-purpose microcontroller market today.”
 
Integrating all available cyber-protection resources for the STM32 family, STM32Trust can help designers implement a robust multi-level strategy leveraging security-focused chip features and software packages.
 
The STM32 family is a system-on-chip portfolio based on the Arm Cortex CPU architecture and contains almost 1000 variants used in smart appliances, remote sensors, wearables, e-health devices, IoT gateways, access-controlled storage, payments and other connected devices.
 
Depending on the model, hardware cyber-protection can include features such as customised secure boot, a random-number generator to prevent hackers observing patterns in signals, dedicated encryption co-processors, and secure storage for encryption keys. STM also builds in tamper detection and firewall code-isolation mechanisms, and implements Arm TrustZone technologies for extra protection of the most sensitive code.
 
STM32Trust provides product developers with what they need to protect connected objects effectively using these features, including reference material and free software.
 
Among the reference software packages X-Cube-SBSFU demonstrates how to protect application code at its most vulnerable when being transferred into boot memory or updated in the field. X-Cube-SBSFU reference packages are available for the STM32F4, F7, H7, L0, L1, L4, G0, G4 and WB. There is also a reference implementation of STM’s secure element STSafe, which increases the security level of the final application.
 
In addition, secure firmware installation for STM32L4 and STM32H7 microcontrollers provides protection while devices are being programmed for the first time. This is a complete toolset to encrypt OEM binaries with the Trusted Package Creator software, the STM32Cube programmer to flash the STM32 securely, and the STM32HSM to transfer OEM credentials to the programming partner.