Enterprise Europe Network

Hardware-based security module - Ethernet security dongle for secure authentication

Country of origin:
External Id: 
Last update
Expiration date


Partner keyword: 
Electronic engineering
Data Protection, Storage, Cryptography, Security
Internet Technologies/Communication (Wireless, Bluetooth)
Network Technology, Network Security
Security systems
Data communication components
Other electronics related equipment


A German university offers a hardware-based security module that enables authentication of common information processing devices without having to modify them. It can be used for bluetooth, Wifi, near field communication (NFC), zigbee applications or proprietary data transmission systems, as well as for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It is more tamper-proof than previous encryption solutions. Licensees are sought.



Data can be encrypted for transfer using software-based or hardware-based security modules. However, the cryptographic key stored in this software or hardware gives attackers the opportunity to use it for their own ends. The use of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, is problematic because the necessary keys are stored on the device and can be discovered.

A German university offers is a retrofittable, protocol-independent, hardware-based security module for encrypting and decrypting data for internode transmission. This solution offers tamper-resistant level 2 encryption with an access-protected key.

The invention can be used for bidirectional wireless or wired communication with stationary and mobile information or data processing devices connected to the internet, regardless of operating system. The security module has two interfaces, a programming device, a data transmission system, a central processing unit (CPU) for performing cryptographic operations, and protected memory for storing cryptographic keys.

The interface for connecting the module to the transmission path has no access rights of any kind and the key can be neither written to memory nor read from the data stream in the transmission path. The second interface can store the key, but it cannot be read. The cryptographic key on the hardware-based security module must be written to the proper area of the memory through this second interface. Additionally, the module has a monitoring circuit that deletes the cryptographic key from the memory when unauthorized tampering is detected. This allows the hardware-based security module to be taken out of service to prevent the keys from being accessed.

The security module is easy to use and can authenticate common information/data processing devices without the need for modification. It supports bluetooth, Wifi, zigbee applications and proprietary data transmission systems. It is also suitable for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches, and remote keyless entry systems. It is more tamper-resistant than current encryption solutions.

The university offers license agreements to industrial partners active in electronics, data communitation and information technology. The partner can use and further develop the solution.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
• Suitable for wireless systems • Usable with all operating systems • More tamper-resistant than current solutions • Inexpensive

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Under development/lab tested

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
Partners are sought for license agreements Type of parner: Industry (electronics, data communication, information technology) Role of partner: License technology, integrate it in own products and solutions, possibly adjust and further develop it.


Laptop with ethernet port