The Root of Trust: A Foundation for Trusted Computing
Ensuring that an embedded system is trustworthy begins with the first instruction on trusted hardware. An effective trusted computing strategy for COTS solutions can include anti-tamper protection that guards against physical hardware intrusion, encryption techniques for critical data at rest, and effective cyber attack protections that ensure that a corrupted BIOS will not cause harm. The first step to ensure that the BIOS is not corrupted is to establish the hardware “Root of Trust.”
Air Force weapon systems today are heavily reliant on complex software and high interconnectivity to perform their missions, making it critical to ensure that their software is trusted and secure.
A foundational concept in cybersecurity, the Root of Trust establishes trusted functions, based on hardware validation of the boot process, to ensure that the system’s OS is being started up with uncorrupted code. These functions are located in hardware so they can’t be changed.
Protecting embedded systems against cyberattacks must start with the very first instruction that a processor executes. For Intel®-based embedded hardware, two important weapons in the system designer’s trusted computing arsenal are Intel’s Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) and Boot Guard.
This paper looks at the growing demand for trusted computing solutions with effective protections against cyberattacks in the global defense electronics market.
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