High-Security Encrypted Communication in Compact Cell Phone Format

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

January 07, 2020

Embedded Brains develops hardware, mechanical components and power management strategy for plug & play personal security device genucard 3.

The German system developer, Embedded Brains GmbH, has developed the hardware, mechanical components and power management strategy for the compact personal security device genucard 3 from genucard GmbH, a German IT security specialist. Mobile users can securely connect to and access the company network while on the road or from the home office. The compact device can be connected via USB to any laptop or workstation and enables access to sensitive data in classified networks via a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Compared to the previous version, the genucard 3 offers these advantages: Dual-band Wi-Fi for high-performance WLAN connection, authentication via PIN entry directly on the device, and a compact cell phone format. The approval process is currently in progress at the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) for the classification level RESTRICTED.
WLAN Connection with Dual-Band Wi-Fi
With genucard 3, employees can easily access government or company networks from their home office or while travelling: genucard can be connected to any laptop or PC and creates an encrypted connection (VPN) to the remote station configured in the network. Possible connection routes to choose from are WLAN including public hot spots, mobile telephony, and Ethernet. If multiple overlapping WLANs threaten to interfere with data transmission, genucard 3 uses dual-band Wi-Fi to switch to other frequency ranges. In the near future, public authorities, the German armed forces, and companies operating in the field of classified information will be able to use genucard 3 to ensure that employees have secure access to sensitive classified data even when working remotely.

Two-Factor Authentication in Accordance with BSI Standards
Users authenticate themselves for access to sensitive networks on the convenient compact device (approximately 86 x 15 x 161 mm) by using a smart card and entering a PIN via PIN pad. This makes two-factor authentication, a security requirement of the BSI, a user-friendly solution. An additional security feature of genucard is its stand-alone capability, since the solution runs on autonomous hardware with its own operating system. This way, genucard retains its functionality and protects the classified network, even in the event that the connected computer is compromised as a result of careless handling.
Central Management Means Low Administration Outlay
Administration of genucards in use is carried out by a central management station. As a result, a large number of employees can be connected to classified networks with minimal effort. The German armed forces, government agencies, and security authorities, as well as companies operating in the security sector have been using the previous version of genucard 3 on a large scale for several years.

For more information, please visit: https://embedded-brains.de/

Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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