Product Protection and Industrial Security

Security for products and industrial applications

The Product Protection and Industrial Security department develops security solutions and new methods for securing electronic devices and for protecting corporate assets. To this end, our scientists study security issues in the fields of product protection, automotive security, industrial security, and the Internet of Things.

We support manufacturers of components, devices and vehicles, as well as suppliers and system integrators in developing, implementing and integrating secure vehicle and device functions, applications and value-added services.

For our customers, we offer security risk assessments to identify and manage threats, as well as methods and tools to systematically identify conceptual security vulnerabilities at an early stage. Furthermore, we support our customers in initiating the appropriate countermeasures.

Fraunhofer AISEC operates modern test laboratories for performing security, compliance, and interoperability tests. This allows us to offer a comprehensive, independent security evaluation of connected and embedded systems as well as hardware and software products.


Automotive Security Lab

The Automotive Security Lab allows security evaluation of complete vehicles and provides space for test setups to analyze multiple interacting components and devices.

Industrial Security Lab

Our Industrial Security Labs enable practical security work in the areas of networked production, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things and building automation.



Our goal is to continuously improve our ability to develop secure systems and products in close cooperation with our customers and partners. Likewise, we want to enable our customers and partners to sustainably maintain the security of systems throughout their lifecycle.

Evaluate security      

  • Modern laboratories for security analyses and system evaluations
  • Sufficient space for the analysis of complete vehicles or larger system components
  • Penetration tests
  • Source code security audits
  • Analysis and assessment of vulnerabilities, evaluation of suitable countermeasures
  • Security risk assessments / security analyses of e.g., control units, on-board network architectures and communication links


Design security


  • Securing bus systems
  • Designing appropriate security concepts
  • Application of modern encryption techniques in devices and applications

In production   

  • Secure production infrastructures and processes
  • Secure remote access, remote maintenance and remote updating
  • Secure plant networking
  • Anonymization of machine and device data
  • Securing data when bringing virtual and real production environments together
  • Protection for service processes
  • Development of procedures for secure remote software updates and remote maintenance

In the automotive sector

  • Development of secure control units and on-board network architectures
  • Development of secure Car-to-X (C2X) systems
  • Security measures for mobile electronics
  • Development of procedures for secure remote software updates

In product protection   

  • Support for the development of tamper-resistant components
  • Hardware- and software-based protection measures against counterfeit products
  • Component and spare part identification


Maintain security

Fraunhofer AISEC has extensive know-how and experience in the development of secure systems to support companies in the development and adaptation of appropriate field-tested methods and to transfer them into existing processes:

Operational / Application

  • Execution of security risk assessments
  • Elicitation of security requirements
  • Comprehensible assessment of the information technology risk for services and products
  • Source code security audits
  • Penetration tests
  • Support for the implementation of security measures and for quality assurance

Method development, tool development, integration

  • Selection of established security methods and adaptations for practical application in companies
  • Integration of security aspects into software lifecycle processes
  • Interaction of risk assessment with design, specification, implementation, testing and incident response
  • Establishment of a sustainable security engineering processes
  • Tool development and parameterization of tools


Modern vehicles consist of complex and distributed systems and sometimes include more than 100 electronic control units (ECUs). In the future, the number and complexity of electronic components will continue to increase. The growing trend towards centralization also means that the threat potential for such systems will rise considerably. Consequently, the security of these systems is an indispensable prerequisite for OEMs, suppliers, automotive workshops, service providers, etc. to benefit from this increasing use of information technology in the automotive domain.

Fraunhofer AISEC supports OEMs, suppliers, equipment manufacturers and system integrators in the development, implementation and integration of secure vehicle functions, applications and value-added services, thus helping to make innovative products possible in the first place through the "Safety by Security" approach.

To this end, Fraunhofer AISEC has a broad range of expertise in securing both internal and external vehicle communication using automotive-grade security mechanisms and protocols. Our employees are intensively involved with the new ISO/SAE 21434 standard, which is intended to support automotive manufacturers in demonstrating prevention against cyberattacks as early as the vehicle development stage.

We advise on and offer solutions for secure function enabling, secure coupling of back-end services, or defense against attacks. In the area of in-vehicle systems, Fraunhofer AISEC develops security mechanisms that also increase the functional safety of vehicle components. In addition, concepts are developed and implemented that enable the secure integration of vehicle components into existing or new automotive systems.

Industrial systems are taking on increasingly complex tasks and interacting more and more with each other and with other systems. The newly emerging networking of previously isolated systems poses a challenge to the IT security of these systems. Many systems and their components are only inadequately protected against these changes, because in the industrial environment the systems are protected in terms of operational safety, but often have no integrated security measures. Once an attacker has gained access to one part of the plant, it is easy to spy on or manipulate other parts of the plant.

Attacks on industrial plants can be associated with both reputational losses and concrete financial damage for operators and plant manufacturers. In extreme cases, a lack of protection against attackers can also pose a safety hazard in sensitive areas.

Unfair imitation of products, components and design causes major damage, which is constantly reaching new record levels. The negative effects of technology theft and product piracy are a serious threat. Manufacturers lose market share and suffer image damage. Consumers (often unconsciously) use inferior products whose safety, functionality and reliability are questionable. Ultimately, even national economies are weakened by a decline in investment, job cuts and tax losses.

Embedded systems are a component of many modern capital assets and consumer products. If preventive technological protection is neglected, this opens up opportunities for attacks on hardware and software in embedded systems. The spectrum of attacks ranges from targeted modification to complete reverse engineering and product piracy. We offer the development and implementation of suitable measures on the electronics and software to counteract this. The execution of penetration tests and source code security audits is also part of the service offering.

Methods and fields of application

The increasing complexity of networked systems and the diversity of hardware and software components require new system architectures as well as methods and tools to systematically identify conceptual security vulnerabilities at an early stage and to initiate the appropriate countermeasures.

Fraunhofer AISEC has the relevant know-how and experience in the field of security risk assessments to support companies in the development and adaptation of appropriate field-tested methods and to transfer them into existing processes:

  •  Execution of security risk analyses
  • Risk assessment and survey of security requirements
  • Interaction of risk assessment with design, specification, implementation, testing, incident response
  • Integration of security aspects into software lifecycle processes

More about MoRA

The "Internet of Things" (IoT) with its various manifestations such as Industry 4.0, information and communication technology, smart homes or connected cars is only possible with the highest level of security. The requirements here go beyond classic IT security. Rather, we are talking about the security of physical systems, cyber physical security or, more catchily, cyber security.

Typical use cases are:

  • Authentication of components with their unique identity
  • Monitoring and ensuring system integrity
  • Protection of data and communication

For corresponding solution concepts we offer integrated system solutions based on secure hardware to protect infrastructure and components against attacks, fraud and sabotage.

Security code analyses can be performed during the implementation phase or in the early test phase to identify and eliminate risks based on implementation vulnerabilities.

For this purpose, Fraunhofer AISEC uses a continuously evolving set of open source tools and in-house developments to perform a tool-supported manual analysis with a special focus on embedded systems with C/C++ code. The tooling combines analyses on different representations of the source code to capture the code both syntactically and semantically to thus detect correlations and logical errors.

Fraunhofer AISEC can draw on several years of experience in the field of security code analysis and has already performed analyses for customers in a wide range of domains, such as automotive, medical or Industry 4.0. In the automotive domain in particular, extensive knowledge of programming standards, libraries and frameworks has been built up.

To validate the security of a system or component, a purely theoretical analysis of the security concept is not sufficient. Penetration tests, on the other hand, provide information about actual resistance to attacks. Our experience shows that concepts are sometimes implemented incorrectly and that vulnerabilities only emerge in interaction with other hardware and software components.
The PIN research department knows how to take a holistic view of hardware and software in a penetration test. Our employees have many years of experience in industrial projects. Furthermore, scientific methods are used to develop new attack vectors according to customer needs. The spectrum of investigations ranges from control units, networked systems and application software to industrial plants or complete vehicles. Numerous laboratories at the institute complete the possible scope of services.

  • Attacks on Confidentiality, Integrity, Authenticity of information on bus systems
  • Security tests on debug interfaces in microcontrollers
  • Visibility- and access-protected parking spaces in the building for large test setups up to several vehicles


Selected Projects


Industry 4.0 & IT Security Audit

Industry 4.0 technologies harbor great potential – especially for manufacturing companies. Still, many companies hesitate to actively tackle the transition towards Industry 4.0 due to security concerns or a lack of expertise. Fraunhofer AISEC and Fraunhofer IPT developed the Industry 4.0 & IT Security Audit to help companies benefit from Industry 4.0 solutions while making sure that cybersecurity is accounted for.




The more electronic devices steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important protection against cyberattacks becomes. That's why 15 partners from industry and academia are working on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars over the next three years in the joint project Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs).




The project “Post-Quantum Secure Communication for Industry 4.0 (PoQsiKom)” develops an innovative hardware trust anchor for operating equipment and edge devices. The cryptographic module is future-proof thanks to its increased level of security.


IUNO Insec


In the IUNO Insec project, a consortium from research and industry is working together on integration and migration strategies for industrial IT security – especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.



Anonymization for Optimization

In the funded project Anonymization for Optimization, Fraunhofer AISEC is working together with the Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management (IWB) at the Technical University of Munich on a solution that makes it possible to store collected machine data anonymized and encrypted in the cloud in order to optimize machines and use them more efficiently.



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