Laird to Strengthen Security Architecture Across its Wireless Connectivity Platforms

Leading wireless solutions provider, Laird Connectivity, has announced new investments in enhancing the security architectures across its wireless connectivity platforms. The most recent activity was the company's pursuit of direct FIPS 140-2 Level 1 certification through the Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP) as sponsored by NIST and the Canadian CSE.

Laird Connectivity is pursuing a hardware/software hybrid approach for FIPS to maintain network performance and to support data in motion and data at rest for applications requiring FIPS encryption. The company is one of the first system-on-module (SOM) vendors pursuing direct certification for a hybrid approach. This certification will be applicable across Laird’s 50 Series and 60 Series which includes the Sentrius IG60 wireless IoT gateway, which is powered by the 60 Series SOM. Along with embedded communication modules and system-on-modules, Laird plans to have a FIPS certified Linux/AWS (Amazon Web Services) gateway on the market.

FIPS certification is one link in Laird Connectivity’s Chain of Trust security architecture that includes Microchip Technology’s secure boot, secure software provisioning, and over-the-air (OTA) updates, an enhanced Wi-Fi EAP supplicant, fast secure roaming, and Bluetooth 5.1, firewalled, all supported within the Laird Connectivity Linux long-term support package.

According to Bill Steinike, VP of Product and Business Strategy at Laird Connectivity, the company had been consistently hearing from customers that FIPS 140-2 certification is a key requirement for their medical application designs but they struggle with the complexity and investment required to obtain certification. Laird thus decided to make the commitment and investment to control their own destiny when it comes to FIPS certification. The benefit for customers who integrate these modules is that they can claim ‘FIPS Inside’ based on the Laird Connectivity certification, without further testing or certification required.

Laird Connectivity has partnered with Microchip due to the excellent performance, low-power capability, on-chip security, and a product longevity/End-of-Life practice of the SAMA5D Series devices. Laird Connectivity’s implementation leverages the hardware encryption engines and FIPS complaint TRNG available in the Microchip SAMA5D3 Series.

Microchip focuses on the supply of secure, low power microprocessors for a broad range of long-life embedded applications. Microchip’s commitment to maintain and update its mainline Linux distributions throughout the long-life cycle of its microprocessors, reduce the maintenance and support costs for end customers.

Laird Connectivity is also preparing to become FIPS 140-3 certified as those testing and certification services become available late next year.

Click here to view/download Laird’s whitepaper on FIPS 140-2.