Standardizing Trust for Embedded Systems

Date Published: January, 01, 2016

If you haven’t been concerned about malicious players hacking into your products in the past, or haven’t found success with previous efforts, it’s time for renewed attention and action. Hacking efforts aren’t slowing and, in fact, are on the rise. These days, hackers can accomplish far more than ever before—and the repercussions are far more costly.

While successful hacks to private industry and the government have been widely reported, perhaps the more personal ones indicate the extent of the attacks and provide more dramatic examples. Hacking a baby monitor is certainly a major concern to any parent, several instances of which were reported in 2015.

For many years, cybersecurity experts have scared motorists with the possibility that connectivity in the car and to the Internet could compromise a vehicle’s control systems. In July 2015, an unmodified vehicle was successfully hacked from over 10 miles away. Taking control from the driver is no longer a theoretical issue.

Recognized Need for Trust in IoT

As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, hackers will have even more gateways into unauthorized territory. For the IoT, 51% of respondents in published survey from last year (Electronic Design, October 2015) said that security in products is currently very important, and 54% said security will be even more important in future products.

The Trusted Computing Group (TCG)
recognized the need for establishing trust in computing products over a decade ago. Experts from member companies developed the specification for a hardware component called the Trusted Platform Module (TPM). More recently, TCG has greatly simplified the ability to take advantage of TPM-based security and has turned its attention to embedded applications.

For those not familiar with TCG and the TPM, the TPM timeline provides some useful background.

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Membership in the Trusted Computing Group is your key to participating with fellow industry stakeholders in the quest to develop and promote trusted computing technologies.

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Trusted Computing

Standards-based Trusted Computing technologies developed by TCG members now are deployed in enterprise systems, storage systems, networks, embedded systems, and mobile devices and can help secure cloud computing and virtualized systems.

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Trusted Computing Group announced that its TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module) Library Specification was approved as a formal international standard under ISO/IEC (the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission). TCG has 90+ specifications and guidance documents to help build a trusted computing environment.

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