Securing the IoT: Introducing an evaluation platform for secure elements

Security for resource constrained IoT devices is an important subject. Rising awareness and up-coming regulations will require manufacturers to increase the level of security on their IoT devices. Semiconductor vendors are addressing this demand with dedicated chips, so-called secure elements. Secure elements provide hardware accelerated support for cryptographic operations and tamper proof memory for the secure storage of cryptographically sensitive material. Specifically, they physically isolate sensitive cryptographic material from the application. However, experience from various projects shows, that the selection and the integration of a secure element into a specific application represents a challenge. Accordingly, the paper discusses the development of a multi-vendor evaluation platform. Particularly, the platform, adopting the widespread Arduino shield form factor, features secure elements from five different vendors. Together with the provided integration into Zephyr OS, the board can be easily fitted to various microcontroller development boards. The presented work intends to support developers in the selection process for secure elements and therefore to contribute to their adoption in IoT devices.

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