A method includes receiving a data message, from a first embedded node (112a-112d), in a first end point device (130a). The first data message is addressed to a second embedded node (122a-122d). The method also includes encrypting the first data message to produce an encrypted data message, where the encryption is transparent to the first embedded node. The method further includes transmitting the encrypted data message to a second end point device (130b). An apparatus includes a plurality of embedded node ports (212a-212d) each configured to communicate with an embedded node. The apparatus also includes an encrypted communications link port (240) configured to communicate with an end point device. The apparatus further includes a controller (250, 270) connected to communicate with the embedded node ports and the encrypted communications link port. In addition, the apparatus includes a storage (260) connected to be read from and written to by the controller.