Projections predict that more than eight million autonomous cars will be in use and over 31 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2025. This development will be further boosted by 5G technology, which will enable data to be transmitted with enormous bandwidths (i.e. at extremely high speeds). Current latencies (the period between a hidden event and the occurrence of a visible reaction) of up to 30 milliseconds will be reduced to such an extent that real-time communication will be possible. To make autonomous vehicles safe and efficient, for example, they must communicate securely and in realtime with many entities outside the vehicle.

However, this development also entails risks. Networking involves dependencies. An example: without electricity, there would be no water because the pumps would not work. Without water, there would be no supply for households and no possibility of cooling our power plants. Thought games like this could be continued ad infinitum. However, the question remains, how do we protect networking? How do I protect communication between my devices? How do I protect my data? How do I prevent others from hacking my systems? These questions must be asked – and not only as an individual but as an institution.

 

The rapid development in the IOT (Internet of Things) in terms of networking and communication from and between devices requires the consistent protection of data and information during storage, processing and above all, during data exchange and transport. Computer worms such as Stuxnet and Trojans like WannaCry have shown us just how vulnerable infrastructures can be. “Cybersecurity is one of the key topics of our era, and its importance is increasing rapidly”, says Michael Kälber, expert for cryptography and key management at Thales.

Key management is an essential building block in cybersecurity. It allows secure communication between two or more devices. Certificates and keys enable the authentication of communication partners and the encrypted exchange of information between the communicating components.

The applications are multifaceted. Thales’ extensive expertise in this field is a byword. It encompasses both civil and military application possibilities in radio communications, satellite communications, railway technology and the automotive sector.