BlackBerry expands IoT certificates to ZigBee smart meters April 23, 2015

In Canada, a subsidiary of BlackBerry has unveiled a new certificate service that will apply the same security level it offers on smartphones to other Internet of Things (IoT) devices including smart meters.

Blackberry subsidiary Certicom has issued nearly 60 million ZigBee device certificates

Security technology company Certicom yesterday launched a new public key infrastructure certificate service for connected devices, which puts security certificates under Certicom’s management.

Certicom has gained a foothold in the UK market when last week it began issuing certificates for the smart meter rollout, a market with an estimated 104 million smart meters and home energy management devices that confirm to ZigBee smart energy specifications.

The company is issuing ZigBee Smart Energy 1.2 certificates to manufacturers whose products are certified by the ZigBee Alliance, including the UK’s smart meter rollout.

The new 1.2 version of ZigBee Alliance’s Home Automation standard adds several important features and provides enhancements for certified devices

Elliptic curve cryptography

The wholly owned subsidiary of mobile communications giant BlackBerry is a pioneer of elliptic curve cryptography (ECC), which claims to provide the most security per bit of any public-key scheme.

The service is available to device manufacturers and service providers, whether on the BlackBerry IoT Platform or as part of another connected network, with options for Elliptic Curve, hybrid, or legacy RSA-based device certificates.

ZigBee device certificates

Since 2008, Certicom has issued nearly 60 million ZigBee device certificates to secure smart meters and energy management devices worldwide to technology companies including IBM, General Dynamics and SAP.

Ryan Maley, director of Strategic Marketing, ZigBee Alliance, said: “Certicom’s application security framework implements strong device identity and supports role- and policy-based access control, allowing alliance members to provide customers with an enterprise-grade secure sensor network.

“This announcement further demonstrates Certicom’s leadership in Internet of Things security and enables highly secure ZigBee devices for every home and small business in Great Britain.”