T&D World Magazine

Certicom to Provide Itron with AMI Security Capabilities

Certicom Corp. has announced a new partnership with Itron to offer strong authentication and enhanced security for Itron's advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system, OpenWay.

Based on Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), Certicom's new AMI 7000 series of meter communication encryption and key management appliances will integrate with OpenWay, securing end-to-end network messages from the OpenWay Collection Engine down to the OpenWay CENTRON meter.

The security architecture inherent to OpenWay, combined with Certicom signing and encryption capabilities, is designed to meet the two-way command and control needs for AMI and Smart Grid network platforms. It provides strong integrity of control, non-repudiation, availability and confidentiality.

The Certicom AMI platform is tightly integrated into the OpenWay Collection Engine, leveraging its open-standards and solid two-way communications capability. The interval data collection and mass market demand response functionality of OpenWay and OpenWay-compatible meters are secured by Certicom's meter security agent. The agent also provides a protected communications pathway into the home via ZigBee Smart Energy devices, and back to the headend via the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C12.22 meter data management protocol. It uses AES-128 equivalent strength encryption to secure all sensitive data and keying material.

Other features include:

  • Designed to meet NERC CIP requirements
  • Designed to adhere to NSA Suite B requirements
  • Uses FIPS 197 approved encryption algorithms
  • Uses FIPS 186-2 approved signature algorithms
  • Uses FIPS 180-2 approved hashing algorithms
  • Provides digital signatures for strong message authentication
  • Provides key management and key rollover events
  • Meets FIPS 140-2 Level 3 for cryptographic modules
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