Security in the intelligent networked home

For years, the number of devices and digital applications that network households and buildings to form so-called "smart homes" has been increasing. The devices are increasingly connected to the internet so that they can be accessed and controlled remotely by consumers. Status queries and various functions can be triggered with the help of digital assistants. IT security is often only taken into account to a very limited extent. The associated additional costs are avoided.

The "Security in the intelligent networked home (SILGENTAS)" project aims to systematically improve the IT security of smart home networks along the entire value chain - from the hardware to the software application level. The security solutions to be researched are based on a so-called security anchor - a piece of hardware that acts as a "secure element". Security anchors are currently used for high-security applications such as ID cards or credit cards. For use in smart homes, this "secure element" must be expanded to include an updatable security operating system. The combination of software and hardware can then be used as a module in a smart home device to prevent common hacker attacks. The module then serves as a trustworthy instance for other services in the smart home. This is a key prerequisite for establishing secure data connections between the right communication partners. The solution to be developed should ultimately be at the cost level of a SIM card, allowing it to be installed in a cost-effective and energy-saving manner.

The targeted security solutions will ensure a much higher level of protection for digitally networked living environments than before. The close cooperation between the research and application partners across the entire value chain will sustainably strengthen expertise in the field of IT security for smart home networks in residential areas in Germany. The results of the project can also be used for other secure IT systems. They contribute to increasing information security in Germany and strengthening technological sovereignty.

The SILGENTAS project is a cooperation between Saarland University, Comgy GmbH Berlin, Giesecke+Devrient Mobile Security GmbH München, Meravis Wohnungsbau- und Immobilien GmbH Hannover, ROCKETHOME GmbH Köln, U-Glow GmbH Mülheim an der Ruhr, and the Institutes of Computer Engineering and IT Security at the University of Lübeck.

This project is funded by the BMBF under grant number 16KIS1837.