Device authentication service for ZigBee smart energy devices


Mississauga, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — May 29, 2008 – Certicom Corp., a security provider, has launched its new Certicom Device Authentication Service for ZigBee Smart Energy enabling secure, low cost, low bandwidth networking and helping energy companies to address environmental and conservation issues more effectively. The service uses Certicom’s Device Certificate Authority to issue Elliptic Curve Qu Vanstone (ECQV) implicit certificates based on Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) to secure wireless data communications and authenticcate smart metering devices. As utility providers around the world embrace smart metering for more efficient energy management and to address environmental concerns, it is critical to ensure that their networks are protected from unauthorized access and that customer information is properly secured.

ECC provides state-of-the-art encryption for resource-constrained applications including ZigBee Smart Energy devices. ZigBee is the standard for (IEEE) 802.15.4 wireless devices enabling low-cost, low-bandwidth, mass-market networks. The standard is regulated by the ZigBee Alliance with over 250 members worldwide. ZigBee members, including Certicom, developed the ZigBee Smart Energy public application profile to meet the requirements of wireless smart metering applications such as demand response, load control and energy efficiency programs.

"Certicom’s innovations in ECC-based security protocols have enabled a robust ZigBee Smart Energy security architecture. With power and memory footprint at a premium in ZigBee devices, ECC delivers the performance we require," said Skip Ashton, Vice President of Engineering for Ember Corporation, a leading provider of ZigBee networking systems. "Certicom’s Certificate Authority helps ensure that only trusted devices have access to the utility network. Certicom’s optimized security libraries – tightly integrated with Ember’s development platform – make it easy for our customers to comply with ZigBee Smart Energy."

"Requiring all devices to be authenticated with digital certificates provides a solid foundation of trust and interoperability for ZigBee Smart Energy," said Jim Alfred, director of Product Management for Certicom. "Our new device authentication service makes it easier for metering companies to deploy and manage large mesh networks of smart metering devices."

The Certicom Device Authentication Service provides a root of trust for ZigBee Smart Energy devices. The service delivers out-of-the-box security, lowering the total cost of ownership for utilities and metering companies while ensuring the integrity of the utility network.