Keyfactor joins IMC to extend PKI security for IoT

  • April 21, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Keyfactor, an Ohio company that provides turnkey ways to secure devices that communicate over networks, has joined the IoT M2M Council (IMC).

Keyfactor provides public key infrastructure as a service, which is a set of hardware, software and messaging protocols that allows for the secure transfer of data for a range of network activities, including communications between embedded devices. The company’s membership of the IMC will allow it to reach 25,000 enterprise users and product makers and designers that deploy IoT in the field.

“The IMC’s rank-and-file adopter membership includes various IoT personas but a plurality of all of them identify security as one of their very biggest concerns,” said Ellen Boehm, Keyfactor’s vice president of IoT strategy and operations, who will represent the company on the IMC’s board of governors, “We want to let these folks know that there are solutions available now that address those concerns and Keyfactor can assist device manufacturers to develop the right security architecture for securing embedded endpoints.”

Keyfactor has already made inroads into some of the strongest IoT markets – including medical devices, connected vehicles and manufacturing – but is also keen that the IMC covers 27 different vertical markets, from energy utilities to public safety to the supply chain.

“The encryption protection that PKI-as-a-service brings can be deployed in any application area where the security of devices is at a premium,” said Boehm.

The IMC also covers the IoT sector globally, with roughly 35% of its membership in North America, and 25% each in Europe and Asia.

“With the addition of Keyfactor, the IMC board can now boast some of the most innovative IoT security providers that we know of,” said Kim Bybjerg, vice president of European business operations at Tata Communications and the IMC board chair. “We welcome them to the board and look forward to their contributions to IMC activities.”

Keyfactor specialises in cloud-first PKI-as-a-service and crypto-agility products. Its Crypto-Agility Platform helps security teams seamlessly orchestrate every key and certificate across their entire enterprise. The company helps its customers apply cryptography in the right way from modern, multi-cloud enterprises to complex IoT supply chains.

The IMC is the largest trade group dedicated to the global IoT and M2M sector, with more than 25,000 IoT enterprise users, product makers and designers, and apps developers that buy IoT products and services as members.

Board companies include Aeris, AVSystem, BeamLive, Bics, Blues Wireless, Digi International, FloLive, Gurtam, iBasis, Ignion, IoT Launch, Keyfactor, KORE, Losant, Microsoft Azure, MultiTech, NimbeLink (an Airgain company), Pelion division of Arm, Pod Group, Quectel, Software AG, Somos, Taoglas, Tata Communications, Telit and Vodafone.

Keyfactor and PrimeKey are to merge under the Keyfactor brand while committing to increased investments across all product lines. PrimeKey’s EJBCA software offers flexible certificate authority (CA) supporting devops, IoT, manufacturing and enterprise use cases.

The merger forms a machine identity management platform, combining Keyfactor’s certificate lifecycle automation with PrimeKey’s EJBCA. The combined platform will provide end-to-end machine identity management with flexible and scalable certificate issuance and automated deployment of machine identities across complex enterprise and emerging IoT and OT use cases.

“Now more than ever, enterprises must operate in a zero trust world, and machine identity management can no longer be ignored as part of an identity and access management strategy,” said Jordan Rackie, CEO at Keyfactor. “Keyfactor’s 50% year-over-year growth is a testament to the industry’s imperative to secure every machine identity before it leads to loss of brand reputation, business outages or fines. The merger with PrimeKey amplifies the performance of the combined businesses across product offerings, distribution channels, expertise for our customers and large open-source communities.”

Magnus Svenningson, CEO at PrimeKey, said the combination gave customers unparalleled deployment choices including PKI as-a-service, SaaS PKI (Azure, AWS, GCP), software appliance or FIPS 140-certified hardware.

“These flexible deployment options give our customers the control to operate a single pane of glass across all their machine identities in hybrid and multi-cloud environments,” said Svenningson. “Our EJBCA, SignServer and Bouncy Castle are widely adopted by the developer community to integrate security in dev-sec-ops workflows and will remain open source as we continue to bring cutting-edge innovations to our enterprise customers.”

PrimeKey’s employees will join Keyfactor. Rackie will continue leading the organisation as CEO and Svenningson will assume the role of chief strategy officer and executive vice president of business development. The combined company will have a global presence with offices in the USA, Emea and Asia-Pacific. The transaction is expected to close within the next 90 days, pending approval by the Swedish authorities.