Implementing secure authentication without being a cryptography expert: Page 5 of 6

December 01, 2016 // By Christophe Tremlet
Today, digital security is one of the most hyped topics in electronic design. For many engineers, encryption is probably the first word that comes to mind when they think about security. Probably only a few think initially about authentication.

SHA-256-based products are the most affordable solutions. While they enable mutual authentication, the distribution of the shared secret requires some precautions so that the secret is not exposed during device manufacturing and set-up. The secret can be programmed in a Maxim factory to circumvent this drawback.

Maxim’s DS28E15/22/25 ICs are based on the SHA-256 technology and differ by their internal memory size. Since the same secret is stored on both the host and device sides, we recommend using a co-processor such as the DS2465 on the host side.

Asymmetric cryptography-based products such as DS28C36 and DS28E35 offer a more flexible scheme as the key does not need to be protected against disclosure on the host side. However, to offload public-key math and provide additional secure operations, host-side co-processors such as the DS2476 (companion IC to the DS28C36) are available to simplify development of the system solution.

Designed to meet Common Criteria EAL4+ requirements, Maxim’s cryptographic controller MAXQ1061 integrates a comprehensive cryptographic toolbox that provides full support for a wide spectrum of security needs, ranging from key generation and storage, to digital signature and encryption up to SSL/TLS/DTLS.

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