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How to Survive Identity Management in the Industry 4.0 Era

Astorga, J., Barcelo, M., Urbieta, A., Jacob, E.

IEEE Access


Industry 4.0 heavily builds on massive deployment of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices to monitor every aspect of the manufacturing processes. Since the data gathered by these devices impact the output of critical processes, identity management and communications security are critical aspects, which commonly rely on the deployment of X.509 certificates. Nevertheless, the provisioning and management of individual certificates for a high number of IIoT devices involves important challenges. In this paper, we present a solution to improve the management of digital certificates in IIoT environments, which relies on partially delegating the certificate enrolment process to an edge server. However, in order to preserve end-to-end security, private keys are never delegated. Additionally, for the protection of the communications between the edge server and the IIoT devices, an approach based on Identity Based Cryptography is deployed. The proposed solution considers also the issuance of very short-lived certificates, which reduces the risk of using expired or compromised certificates, and avoids the necessity of implementing performance expensive protocols such as Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP). The proposed solution has been successfully tested as an efficient identity management solution for IIoT environments in a real industrial environment.

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