Trusted Computing: An Overview
December 18, 2019 | BY: David Sheets
Published in Military & Aerospace Electronics
At its core, trusted-computing works to ensure that computing systems operate safely, securely, and correctly every time. Trusted computing matters at every level of operation, whether it be the processor level, software level, or system level. Each layer of a computing system ensures that a system can operate securely. Because malicious attackers are able to poke at all layers of a system, securing only one single layer often is not the most effective use of resources.
Attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Examples include Rowhammer, Meltdown, Spectre, and others. System designers need to consider many attack vectors. The security of hardware components can no longer be assumed. System designers must verify and monitor their hardware for future vulnerabilities. However, secure hardware alone is not enough. For a system to be secure, its software also must be secure. Securing software can include hardening free operating systems like Linux, or software built from the ground up to address security, such as StarLab Crucible.
After securing the software, the security architect’s work is still not done. Today, systems must integrate and interoperate to complete a mission. That means that network and physical interfaces that connect individually secure elements of a system also must be analyzed for vulnerabilities and then locked down to mitigate possible attacks.