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PKI Solution

Securing mobile devices, PCs, servers, processes and IoT

Build trusted IT infrastructures to keep communication secure in strongly networked systems.

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PKI and key management

Security with keys and certificate

PKI and key management allows building trusted IT infrastructures and guarantee secure communication in highly networked systems. Reliable authentication as well as signing and encryption of data are mandatory for maximum IT security.
Public key infrastructures (PKI) allow to issue, manage and verify digital identities in a secure way.

The ECOS TrustManagementAppliance is a PKI and key management solution securing mobile devices, PCs, servers, processes and other devices in the (I)IoT area. 

Certificate lifecycle management

No more downtime due to expired certificates

Administrators can use the Active Reports feature of the ECOS TrustManagementAppliance to get automatic notifications of upcoming certificate renewals. Information can be provided at the user level, by domain, or for all certificates used across the enterprise. The configurable metadata of the certificates allows for a fine-grained assignment to an individual user, a machine, or a domain.

PKI deployment scenarios

Schaubild vor einem Laptop, das mehrere Anwendungen, die über ein PKI System verbunden sind

One PKI for all platforms

Certificate-based security for desktops and mobile end devices

Network and server security

The ECOS security concept for client and server authentication

Lagerhalle in der gelbe Maschinen platziert sind, die an imaginären Netzwerk arbeiten

Industrial security 4.0

Certificates and keys protect man and machine

Functional overview

As an all-in-one PKI solution, the Trust Management Appliance offers various functions for creating, managing, distributing and validating certificates, keys and other secrets.

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Benefits of the ECOS PKI solution at a glance

All in one

PKI and key management
Certificates, symmetric keys and other secrets
Everything at one stop

Cross-platform

Works on all systems and devices: Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android etc.

WLAN login

IEEE 802.1.x authentication of mobile devices on WLAN

2F authentication

OTP user authentication via software token, token and SMS

Active report editor

Customizable reports
Automated dispatch

Open interfaces

Seamless integration into the existing infrastructure

Easy management

Free certificate configuration and automated distribution

Secure investment

Freely scalable and optionally highly available

Certificate management

Overview of all certificates in use across the organization

Certificate renewal

Automatic renewal of selected certificates

FAQ

Frequently asked questions about PKI and key management

A Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) or digital certificate is an electronic document that confirms that a public key belongs to a specific entity, such as a person, organization, or device. It is issued and digitally signed by a Certificate Authority (CA), which plays a central role in a PKI.

A certificate contains important information such as the name of the certificate owner, a serial number, an expiration date, and a public key. It also provides the digital fingerprint of the certificate, which ensures the integrity of the certificate, and the digital signature of the Certification Authority that issued the certificate.

A PKI uses the certificate to enable secure communication and data exchange. Key pairs - a public key and a private key - can be used to encrypt and decrypt messages, create or verify digital signatures, and confirm the authenticity of an entity.

The ECOS TrustManagementAppliance helps manage certificates and secure their use by providing a centralized platform for issuing, managing, and validating digital certificates. It ensures that the keys associated with each certificate are securely stored and used to guarantee the integrity and confidentiality of data transmitted in (I)IoT environments.

A PKI, short for Public Key Infrastructure, works by encrypting and signing data. There are several important reasons for this:

Data protection and security: Encryption allows information to be transmitted securely over insecure networks such as the Internet by using a public and a private key to encrypt and decrypt data. Only the private key decrypts the data encrypted with the public key.  This ensures that even if the data is intercepted during transmission, it cannot be read without the private key. This encryption method is also referred to as public key encryption or asymmetric encryption.

Authentication: Certificates ensure that a public key is actually owned by the person or system claiming ownership. They play a central role in validating the identity of a person or system, helping to build trust in digital interactions.

Data integrity: Digital signatures, which are created with a PKI, can be used to verify that data has not been altered during the transmission process und thus ensure their integrity.

Non-repudiation: Signing a certificate confirms beyond doubt that the data belongs to an entity. This is essential for legally binding transactions and other applications where the confirmation of an identity is of critical importance.

A Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a system of rules, functions, policies, and techniques that work together to create, manage, distribute, and verify digital certificates. These certificates are critical for verifying the identity of people or devices on digital networks and enabling them to communicate in a secure, encrypted manner.

An indispensable element within the PKI is the Certificate Authority (CA), which acts as a trusted authority. The CA is responsible for issuing certificates that validate the assignment of a public key to a specific entity. Each certificate contains details such as the entity's name, public key, expiration date, and other information, along with the CA's digital signature.

The core functions of a PKI include:

  1. Key generation: Each entity generates a pair of cryptographic keys: a public key and a private key. The public key can be freely distributed, while the private key is securely stored and kept secret.
  2. Certificate generation: The entity submits a request to the CA to obtain a certificate for its public key. This request may include identification information.
  3. Certificate issuance: The CA verifies the identity of the requesting entity and issues a certificate containing the entity's public key and identification information. This certificate is digitally signed by the CA.
  4. Certificate distribution: The entity can distribute its certificate along with its public key. Anyone who receives the certificate can verify the digital signature of the CA, and thus determine that the certificate and public key actually originate from the specified entity.
  5. Authentication and encryption: To establish secure communication, the entity sends its certificate and public key to the desired communication partner. The other party uses the public key to encrypt a message that can only be decrypted with the entity's private key. At the same time, the entity can use its private key to create a digital signature that can be verified using the public key, thus enabling authentication.

The ECOS TrustManagementAppliancet is a PKI solution that provides all of these capabilities in an integrated platform to ensure the security of mobile devices, PCs, servers and other devices in (I)IoT environments.

PKI management is a complex process that requires careful attention and planning. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  1. Proper implementation: A PKI should be implemented with care. Implementation errors lead to vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers.
  2. Trustworthy Certificate Authority: A reliable Certificate Authority (CA) is critical because it validates the legitimacy of digital certificates.
  3. Private key security: Protecting private keys is of the utmost importance. If private keys are compromised, the security of the entire system is compromised.
  4. Life cycle management: Certificate lifecycles must be carefully managed. This includes their creation, distribution, renewal and revocation. Failure to revoke a certificate can result in an unauthorized party gaining unauthorized access to systems.
  5. Conformance: Ensure that your PKI solution complies with industry standards and best practices.
  6. Automation: The automation of key and certificate management processes helps eliminate human error and can be more efficient.
  7. Audit and monitoring: Regular auditing and monitoring is important to ensure that the PKI is functioning properly and to identify potential security issues early.

Certificate management, also known as certificate lifecycle management, is a central aspect of Public Key Infrastructures (PKI). It involves several steps to ensure that certificates are correctly created, distributed, stored, used, and revoked or renewed.

  1. Creation: The certificate creation process begins with the generation of a public and private key pair. The public key is embedded in the certificate, which also contains important information such as the owner's name, validity period, and digital fingerprint.
  2. Issuance: The issuing Certificate Authority (CA) verifies and validates the identity of the requester The certificate is then digitally signed to ensure its integrity and authenticity.
  3. Distribution: Once the certificate is issued and signed, it is distributed to the requester and can be used for identification and encryption. It can also be published in a public directory for others to verify.
  4. Usage: The certificate is used to verify the identity of its holder and to encrypt data. Anyone who has the certificate can use the owner's public key to encrypt data or verify the signature.
  5. Renewal/revocation: Certificates have a limited validity period and must be renewed before they expire. If a certificate is compromised and the private key has become public, it must be revoked to prevent further security breaches.
Techem operates PKI

Techem, the leading service provider for smart and sustainable buildings, relies on securely encrypted data transmission of meter readings and consumption values from millions of buildings.

The PKI provider ECOS secures the data traffic for over 52 million wireless data collection devices at Techem with the ECOS TrustManagementAppliance.

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Get more information!

Phone +49 (6133) 939-222

References

Our case studies show practical applications of the PKI solution.
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PKI secures communication of Techem's remote metering infrastructure

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Ready for take-off!

ECOS PKI and key management secures IT infrastructures.

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Logo STAHL

Explosion protection at the highest level

The ECOS PKI solution provides security.

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Have questions about the ECOS TrustManagementAppliance?

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Technical information

Certificate management

  • Creating, renewing, revoking certificates
  • Certificates, secrets and symmetric keys
  • Key length and signature algorithm fully configurable
  • Metadata are freely definable and assignable
  • Automatic certificate renewal
  • Certificate classification and structuring
  • Automated certificate enrollment (basis via SCEP)
  • Automatable certificate renewal (basis via SCEP)

 

Distribution

  • Certificate distribution by LDAP, SCEP, ACME or Windows service
  • Support of Windows/Linux server as well as clients, further terminal devices (esp. Android and iOS via mobile device management)
  • Fueling or creation of certificates on the smartcard

Self Service Portal

  • Self-service portal for users, helpdesk and administrators
  • Freely configurable workflows e.g.
    • application for certificate renewals
    • approval of certificate requests
    • download and installation of certificates
    • enrollment on smartcards
    • regular helpdesk/admin tasks

Validation

  • Certificate validation with CRL oder OCSP

 

Storage

  • Secure storage in hardware security module possible

Integration

  • Coupling with AD and other metadirectories
  • Control and configurability of all functions via REST API
  • Integration into existing PKI as sub or root CA
  • Cluster operation, also cross-site
  • Multilevel root- and sub-CAs
  • Import interface for public and private certificates
  • SNMP interface for connection of a monitoring system
  • syslog interface for connection of a aggregation tool
  • Virtual appliance for operation with VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V or other virtualization solutions
  • Preconfigured ISO image with ECOS Secure Linux and TMA

Authentication

  • Support of OTP tokens, software tokens and SMSRADIUS server for authentication by IEEE 802.1

Multitenancy management

  • Central administration of tenant-specific root CAs

Reporting

  • Predefined reports and own report editor
  • Automatic notification system for Active Reports

Administration

  • Central web interface
    Granular rights assignment for admin interface