Tech Briefs

Researchers at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) have developed a device to read data, encrypt the information, and distribute it electronically to multiple locations, providing a one-way data pathway that segregates each destination to prevent cross-party data manipulation. Previous “data diode” devices employ computer-based communication channels such as fiber-connected data cards between the sender and receiver. No integrated data authentication is performed, and data is sensitive to external attack and manipulation.

The ASID allows for the secure collection of data with minimal intrusion points and robust data privacy.

The Authenticated Sensor Interface Device (ASID) has minimal intrusion points and robust data privacy. The ASID permits authentication, transmission, and sharing of data collected from many industrial processes, sensors, monitors, or data collection devices securely and at low cost due to operating-system-free embedded microprocessors. With input types to include digital data streams, voltage levels, 4-20 mA, RTDs and thermocouples, and various others, this device has uses in any field requiring data sharing in business-sensitive or agency oversight applications such as process or material monitors, electrical power grid data sharing and usage, network backbone throughput, and cost-sharing data sources.

The ASID allows for the secure collection of data using electrically isolated circuitry and accepted methods of authentication and encryption. One-way communication from the sensor interface components to the data transmission components reduces the vulnerability to outside influence to the collected sensor data. Authenticating the sensor data takes place within the sensor interface components — before the one-way communication to the data transmission components — further securing the data from external attack.

The ASID utilizes opto-isolated data diode, encryption, authentication, and a tamper-indicating enclosure (TIE) to provide for a secure means of collecting data from a trusted sensor and transmitting it securely into a system that secures the information from external attack.

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