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Performance Analysis of Secure Elements for IoT

by 1,†, 1,†, 2,† and 1,*,†
Institute of Embedded Systems, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, 8401 Winterthur, Switzerland
NatWest Group, NatWest Services (Switzerland) Ltd., 8045 Zuerich, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Hyun-Ho Choi
IoT 2022, 3(1), 1-28;
Received: 21 October 2021 / Revised: 3 December 2021 / Accepted: 7 December 2021 / Published: 21 December 2021
New protocol stacks provide wireless IPv6 connectivity down to low power embedded IoT devices. From a security point of view, this leads to high exposure of such IoT devices. Consequently, even though they are highly resource-constrained, these IoT devices need to fulfil similar security requirements as conventional computers. The challenge is to leverage well-known cybersecurity techniques for such devices without dramatically increasing power consumption (and therefore reducing battery lifetime) or the cost regarding memory sizes and required processor performance. Various semiconductor vendors have introduced dedicated hardware devices, so-called secure elements that address these cryptographic challenges. Secure elements provide tamper-resistant memory and hardware-accelerated cryptographic computation support. Moreover, they can be used for mutual authentication with peers, ensuring data integrity and confidentiality, and various other security-related use cases. Nevertheless, publicly available performance figures on energy consumption and execution times are scarce. This paper introduces the concept of secure elements and provides a measurement setup for selected individual cryptographic primitives and a Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) handshake over secure Constrained Application Protocol (CoAPs) in a realistic use case. Consequently, the paper presents quantitative results for the performance of five secure elements. Based on these results, we discuss the characteristics of the individual secure elements and supply developers with the information needed to select a suitable secure element for a specific application. View Full-Text
Keywords: cybersecurity; dtls; secure elements; embedded systems; resource-constrained devices; coaps; IoT cybersecurity; dtls; secure elements; embedded systems; resource-constrained devices; coaps; IoT
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MDPI and ACS Style

Noseda, M.; Zimmerli, L.; Schläpfer, T.; Rüst, A. Performance Analysis of Secure Elements for IoT. IoT 2022, 3, 1-28.

AMA Style

Noseda M, Zimmerli L, Schläpfer T, Rüst A. Performance Analysis of Secure Elements for IoT. IoT. 2022; 3(1):1-28.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Noseda, Mario, Lea Zimmerli, Tobias Schläpfer, and Andreas Rüst. 2022. "Performance Analysis of Secure Elements for IoT" IoT 3, no. 1: 1-28.

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