A new Intel White Paper titled “FPGA-Based Security Solutions,” written in conjunction with security IP supplier Xiphera, explores the use of hardware-based security for the design of new IoT and Industry 4.0 equipment. According to this new White Paper, “the current software-centric approach to addressing security challenges is not directly applicable for Industry 4.0 and IoT for a number of reasons, including the required lifetime, updateability, power consumption, end product form factor, etc.” Key elements in the attack surface of software-based security solutions include the operating system, device drivers, software-based cryptographic primitives, security holes caused by compiler optimizations, the sheer depth and complexity of the associated software stacks, cache and memory management, key management, and a lack of control over the security algorithms due to reliance on 3rd-party code.
This White Paper explores the use of FPGAs to implement hardware-level security rather than using software, while noting that the military market adopted hardware-based security “long ago.” The White Paper then discusses four key security goals including confidentiality, integrity, authenticity, and non-repudiation. After an in-depth introduction to these goals, the White Paper then discusses the means of achieving these goals with IP-based hardware designed specifically for FPGA implementations, which deliver performance benefits as well as other advantages including:
- Algorithm and protocol agility and updateability
- The option to use hardware security features incorporated into the target FPGA, including encrypted and authenticated configuration, anti-tamper features, partial reconfiguration, and red/black hardware separation through explicit design techniques
- Tighter control of security algorithm implementation details including key management
For more specifics on these security topics and more, click here to download a copy of the free White Paper.
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