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Technology

Hitachi's cryptography to protect power plants from cyberattacks

TOKYO -- Hitachi has developed a new encryption technology designed to safeguard power plants, railways and other key public facilities against cyberattacks.

     The technology increases by tenfold the information processing speed of a surveillance sensor that encrypts and sends information from guarded sites. With Internet connectivity leaving facilities more vulnerable to cyberattacks, Hitachi expects growing demand from municipalities and corporations.

     In a trend known as the "Internet of Thing," operators are increasingly linking power plants, railways and other industrial facilities to the Internet for easier monitoring and maintenance. But few have adopted encryption protection against cyberattacks because the current mainstream technology, known as AES, can slow information transmission.

     Hitachi's new technology, dubbed Chaskey, uses a simpler authentication algorithm while safeguarding information. With Chaskey, a surveillance camera can process 30 frames a second, far outstripping the current rate of 3 frames a second. The company plans to obtain International Organization for Standards certification in about three years.

     By some estimates, 25 billion devices will be connected to the Internet next year, rising to 50 billion in 2020. General Electric is pushing the so-called Industrial Internet initiative to use Wi-Fi connections for maintaining industrial equipment.

     Chaskey sprang from a collaboration between Hitachi and Belgium's Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, a university with a specialty in encryption technology.

(Nikkei)

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