GlobalSign Blog

02 Feb 2018

GlobalSign Wraps up Successful Utility Cybersecurity Summit at Distributech 2018

GlobalSign recently hosted a half-day cybersecurity summit at North America’s largest conference for electric utilities, Distributech. The summit attracted a wide range of companies involved in the smart energy marketplace.

Along with members of our IoT Solutions team, the summit participants included the Wi-SUN Alliance, Intrinsic ID and Renesas.

Lila Kee Distributech

Americas’ General Manger Lila Kee provided the opening remarks at GlobalSign’s Utility Cybersecurity Summit at DistribuTECH 2018

Together we addressed topics that are top-of-mind with the Industrial IoT (IIoT) Smart Energy space.

The themes that were covered at the summit include how the Wi-SUN Alliance addresses challenges for wireless IoT in the smart electric grid, strong device identity in Wi-SUN’s Field Area Network (FAN) and using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). The presenters built a perspective surrounding why interoperable, scalable, and secure standards are essential for the success of both the smart grid, but also how they set the stage for success of smart city ecosystems. Below are summaries of the presentations with links to view the slides.

GlobalSign: Strong Device Identity for Smart Networks

The GlobalSign portion of the summit, led by me, offered attendees a detailed overview of the Wi-SUN Alliance’s FAN specifications for device certificates, explaining how PKI is used to mitigate security risks, and how device manufacturers can integrate GlobalSign-issued Wi-SUN-compliant certificates into their products. To view this presentation, click here.

During the summit, we also showcased how smart meter manufacturers can leverage our High-Value PKI Platform for issuing Wi-SUN Alliance-compliant certificates to manufactured devices.

Wi-SUN Alliance: Wi-SUN Technology and Certification

Phil Beecher ditributech

Wi-SUN Alliance President Phil Beecher Addresses Attendees

Wi-SUN Alliance President Phil Beecher discussed how large-scale IoT networks for Utility and Smart Cities are part of the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI), making them desirable targets to hackers and attackers. Beecher also covered how the Wi-SUN Alliance addresses the challenges for wireless IoT with built-in resilience and robust security integral to the communications network deployment. His presentation can be viewed here.

For some background, GlobalSign and the Wi-SUN Alliance have been working closely to provide security solutions for the burgeoning Smart Meter marketplace. In October 2017, Wi-SUN appointed GlobalSign as the exclusive third party supplier of certificates for the Wi-SUN FAN certification program to more than 150 Wi-SUN product companies.

Intrinsic ID: Streamlined Wi-SUN-based Device Identities

Intrinsic ID’s Luis Ancajas’ session focused on the established method for securing the private keys supporting the on-boarding process of certificates on embedded systems. His talk also explained how a hardware-based root-of-trust foundation is instantiated via a software module anchored by an SRAM Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) and can be applied on any microprocessor or microcontroller. The Instrinsic ID presentation is viewable here.

The utility cybersecurity summit also provided an overview of a joint effort between us and Intrinsic ID that offers an established method to generate private keys for supporting the on-boarding process of certificates on embedded systems.

intrinsic id

GlobalSign and Intrinsic ID showcase how manufacturers can secure smart meters with SRAM PUF-based certificates and PKI.

For more details on the GlobalSign and Intrisic ID technologies, you can see a separate webinar here: Strong Device Identities through SRAM PUF-based Certificates.

Renesas: Smart Grid Solutions

Following the summit discussions, a number of demos were given, including one from Renesas that showed its Wi-SUN FAN protocol stack, as well as a comprehensive showcase of their metering designs that incorporate secure authentication and device identity provisioning technologies from both Intrinsic ID and GlobalSign. The Renesas presentation can be viewed here.

We were thrilled to host this event and to see the level of interest in its Industrial IoT solutions which are especially ideal for the Smart Meter marketplace.

For more on GlobalSign’s IoT solutions, visit our website.

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