Is Your Smart Lock Design Secure? Here’s How It Can Be

Home security is an increasing concern as crime rates continue to rise around the world. The smart lock market is projected to grow to over 2.7 billion by 2023 across various applications including residential, commercial, and industrial. However, successfully securing a home is heavily dependent on how secure the smart lock is. The type of security attacks continue to evolve and so should the countermeasures. Failure to incorporate security measures can lead to unauthorized access to the smart lock and to other devices on the network.

Common Security Attacks

Table 1. shows common security attacks on a smart lock including Man-In-The-Middle attacks where user credentials are stolen to open the smart lock or to block access from authorized users. When firmware updates are made, information disclosure attacks attempt to extract firmware or intercept OTA updates that lead to smart lock malfunction and confidential data theft. In a factory environment, these attacks can result in IP data extraction and theft and financial losses.

Table 1. Smart Lock Common Security Attacks and Countermeasures

Table 1. Smart Lock Common Security Attacks and Countermeasures

Smart Lock Design with Security Features

NXP has developed a broad portfolio of scalable security solutions that provide a foundation for achieving the most effective security levels based on the potential security attacks on a system. Figure 1. shows a high-end smart lock solution that addresses the attacks shown in Table 1.

Figure 1. High-End Smart Lock Block Diagram

Figure 1. High-End Smart Lock Block Diagram

The i.MX 8M MPU incorporates software-based security based on ARM TrustZone (TZ), which enables a secure and isolated execution environment that handles trusted operations including communication to external memory and software updates. To further isolate protected operations, the SE050 secure element provides support of main TPM functionalities including physical isolation that protects master keys, tamper resistant protection, and software authentication. It also creates a secure channel for data transfer to the MPU.

The combination of the i.MX 8M MPU and SE050 secure element provide a countermeasure to maximize security and maintain system integrity throughout the lifecycle of the smart lock. This mitigates smart lock unauthorized access and a secure building.

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Javier Solorzano
Javier Solorzano
Javier Solorzano is the Segment Marketing Manager for Industrial and IoT markets. He develops NXP solutions across various applications using NXPs vast product portfolio that make lives safer, better, and easier. He has published over 20 technical publications including application videos, blog entries, articles, and white papers across major electronics magazines. For over a decade, Javier has held roles in applications engineering and product marketing and has co-founded a startup electronics company. He holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree of Science from Santa Clara University.

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