13. Don't put up with industrial fake news: Turning data into reliable facts

Performance and security requirements vary significantly from one IoT application to another. However, one thing they all have in common: the success of all applications relies on robust, easy-to-use and fail-safe security features. The Infineon Security Partner Network is a place where security experts exchange on and jointly create security solutions for connected devices. Together with our security partners, we provide tailored support for the implementation and deployment of security solutions based on Infineon's hardware-based security products. One of the ISPN's valued and long-time partners is Tributech, a European DeepTech-Startup providing a data audit & sharing technology, enabling trustworthy data across companies. Hence, we are very pleased to welcome Tributech’s CEO Patrick Lamplmair. With him we talk about the trustworthiness of information and data.



Transcript

Guest: Patrick Lamplmair, CEo, Tributech
Date of publication: 21 June 2022

Moderator:

The potential of the Internet of Things is well known. But how do we actually implement it? How can people and companies benefit from it? In this podcast, we meet experts from infineon, partners and customers who tell us how it can work and what it takes to Make IoT work. My name is Thomas Reinhardt, I am your host, and I am excited to have this great opportunity sharing this podcast with all of you.

Performance and security requirements vary significantly from one IoT application to another. However, one thing they all have in common: the success of all applications relies on robust, easy-to-use and fail-safe security features.
The Infineon Security Partner Network is a place where security experts exchange on and jointly create security solutions for connected devices. Together with our security partners, we provide tailored support for the implementation and deployment of security solutions based on Infineon's hardware-based security products.

One of the ISPN's valued and long-time partners is Tributech, a European DeepTech-Startup providing a data audit & sharing technology, enabling trustworthy data across companies. Hence, I am very pleased to welcome Tributech’s CEO Patrick Lamplmair today.

Lamplmair:

Thanks so much for inviting me. It’s great to join you today.

Moderator:

To begin with, would you please tell us how our partnership was initiated and what it is focused on?

Lamplmair:

We first met Infineon at Infineon’s event “Industry meets makers” in Austria in 2019. We participated in the tender and were invited to get acquainted. Subsequently, we became a partner in the Infineon Security Partner Network (ISPN) - first as Associated Partner, meanwhile we are Preferred Partner. Since then, we have carried out many joint projects, especially in the area of security, but we also cooperate with regards to microcontrollers. With our joint projects and solutions, we help customers not only to unleash the power of IoT, but also realize the full potential of data.

In addition, we support each other at our events. For example, we regularly participated as speaker at Infineon's “IoT Security Circle”. In early April, in turn, the pitching event of Tributech’s “Smart Product Challenge for IoT solutions” took place. With Infineon as one of the jurors, we selected startups that want to leverage innovative sensor, hardware, connectivity, and platform technologies to develop secure, smart, and connected products. The event, that took place at Microsoft headquater in Germany, really was a very entertaining pitch event filled with an impressive level of quality, creativity and purpose. At the end we have crowned the three startup SmartProductHeroes.

Moderator:

That sounds like a good and trustworthy partnership. Let's focus a bit on the subject of trust – or more precisely: the trustworthiness of information and data. Not only since the U.S. election campaign in 2016 and the targeted spread of untruths via the Internet, we known that people and decisions can be influenced by misinformation. However, this phenomenon of manipulation of data and information is not a problem related to communication between people. The growing number of IoT devices and data-driven decision-making are increasingly tempting attackers to not only steal or encrypt data to blackmail users, but also actively manipulate it. Please tell us what challenges companies face in this context?

Lamplmair:

Fake news has become a major problem, influencing elections, affecting major political events and the credibility of every piece of content on social media, fake news or not. And "industrial fake news" in turn is indeed a big problem for businesses. Imagine what could happen if you make mission-critical decisions based on manipulated data? Or what could happen, if attackers hijack smart sensors or other critical devices and send fake data to manipulate decisions made by operators, data models or applications? Such "industrial fake news" have the potential to do even more damage than the fake news in social media.

In almost all industries, there is a trend toward accumulating larger amounts of data, improving interoperability between systems, and transferring data across organizations. These intersections and the transfer of data from one system to another increase the risk of being vulnerable to data sabotage.

While companies understand the importance of protecting their data, we consistently see that they struggle to find answers to the question of how to ensure that their data is not corrupted or tampered with between data sources and their respective data consumers, whether internally or when sharing data with customers, suppliers and partners.

Moderator:

How can we support here? How can we help companies implement solutions, so they no longer have to blindly trust their data?

Lamplmair:

Let's take a look at an example: A company that operates power generation facilities collects production data and stores it in its infrastructure. A selection of this data is transmitted once a month to the energy supplier for reconciliation and billing. Although the data is encrypted end-to-end, there is no guarantee that the data is unchanged due to the time delay between data transfers and transmission across system boundaries. To overcome these issues, systems require an additional layer of security that allows companies to verify and audit data at any point in time, regardless of the layers in between.

If we now concentrate more on the topic of IoT, one solution to implement to existing devices is our Tributech Sensor Security Module, a modular IoT device with extension modules to select connectivity and sensors or interfaces, designed for prototyping and retrofitting. It enables the highest possible customization while minimizing the implementation effort required to integrate new sensors or protocols for embedded systems applications. It combines high-end hardware security and blockchain technology to deliver verifiable and trustworthy data - even when used across organizations. Infineon's OPTIGA™ Trust M is used to create cryptographic fingerprints of sensor data that are stored in a tamper-proof blockchain layer. These can be used to verify the integrity and authenticity of each sensor data package. Well-designed interfaces and a modular system allow an easy integration and provide an enterprise-grade solution for verifying data across system and enterprise boundaries. Combined with the included LTE / LTE-M connectivity and data management solution, enterprises or startups can build smart and connected IoT solutions. It offers a perfect fit for building a prototype of a smart product or retrofitting existing solutions by integrating various protocols and sensors and establishing an auditable IoT data path between sensors and data consumers to validate their digital services on reliable and trusted data.

Moderator:

So that means that your Sensor Security Module is designed for prototypes and retrofits. If one goes a step further, however, there is still a significant development effort for large IoT projects. Is there a solution here?

Lamplmair:

Yes, definitely.  Unlike other IoT devices or development platforms on the market, the Tributech OEM Module is positioned between off-the-shelf products and do-it-yourself platforms or technologies. It is packaged to a system-on-module (SoM) solution which provides all required core functionalities within a single interface, handling telemetry data, configurations, updates, provisioning and security. This allows builders to design IoT devices that are perfectly optimized (in terms of interfaces, form factor and costs) for their use cases without the need to take care of all the complexity of a connectivity and data management platform. We call this solution the backbone for smart and connected products that allows not only startups but also enterprises to focus on the development of their IoT application and core business from day one. Our Tributech OEM Module for smart and connected products provides a competitive foundation for IoT applications and can be directly integrated into the hardware design. It includes connectivity for NB-IoT and LTE-M standard and unique features such as digital-twin-based configuration & data management, high-end hardware security, blockchain-based data verification & audits and built-in data sharing.

Moderator:

For which kind of IoT applications is this the ideal solution?

Lamplmair:

Today, we are developing secure and smart products with customers in the area of smart sensors, connected vehicles, critical infrastructure and smart buildings.

Moderator:

You have now already created some solutions with which you want to shape the IoT of the future and, above all, the data more trustworthy. What do you expect from the future? Where do you think the journey will go?

Lamplmair:

I think the ability to trust and verify data before taking an action will be the key requirement for every business that relies on data. The increasing complexity of the system landscape and attackers who develop new attack scenarios like creating fake data represent a constantly growing risk for companies. The growing number of data-driven decisions and processes will require an automated data verification process to provide a reliable basis for the digital business models of our future. At Tributech, we aim to provide the technology and tools to make trustworthy data available to any business, and strong partnerships like the one we have with Infineon Technologies enable us to achieve that goal.

Moderator:

This brings us to the end of this episode. Dear listeners, for more information, please visit infineon.io. We will publish the next episode soon. Until then, take care and goodbye.