SoC design teams play a critical role in providing cyberphysical security and safety for electrical and electronic systems that are connected to the Internet. The requirements and tools available to achieve this goal are constantly changing, but we can be pretty sure that traditional software security measures alone will hardly be enough; a new class is also needed for hardware-level monitoring.

Emerging standards and legislation

The focus on cybersecurity leads to changes in work practices for several reasons:

  • Concerns about legal liability if systems are compromised in a way that leads to loss, death or injury – an area where standards such as ISO / SAE 21434 and ISA / IEC 62443 seek to outline the right approach.

  • Changes in legislation. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has proposed regulations for connected and autonomous vehicles, WP.29 / GRVA, which will be adopted by more than 60 countries around the world, including all EU countries. The legislation encourages a shift in the approach to cybersecurity for automotive systems from responding to known attacks with bug fixes and updates to one based on preventive measures.
  • The cost of downloading products for situations where on-the-spot updates cannot be achieved reduces profitability and reduces the value of the brand in the market. The best way to avoid these burdens is to deal with cybersecurity issues during design.

Cybersecurity product lifecycle view

Providing products containing cyber-physical systems requires lifecycle management most obviously, because on-the-spot updates will be vital to ensure that errors and weaknesses can be corrected.

We need a coherent infrastructure that can support the monitoring and control of cybersecurity in deployed systems throughout the life of the product. Such an infrastructure must be able to monitor in detail what is happening in the electronic system and automatically check to ensure that operations comply with the specifications and rules that maintain a secure system. At a minimum, transactions that violate these rules shall be reported and recorded. In many cases, it will be important to block access attempts in a way that does not alert attackers to the nature of the defenses used. While software is an important part of this infrastructure, stopping attacks on the software itself requires hardware-level monitoring.

Embedded Analytics: a platform for hardware-based system security

The monitoring infrastructure must be able to monitor the behavior of the interconnections and buses of the system, as well as the processor cores themselves, while being protected from unauthorized access. The Embedded Analytics platform from Siemens Digital Industries Software provides a unique combination of system-level and hardware-level visibility, as well as active and passive security features and complete independence from system features and resources.

With a unique range of hardware-based security features, the Embedded Analytics platform can enable cyberphysical system vendors to meet security requirements today and in the future.

Embedded Analytics, with its IP-based monitors that check and monitor chip activity, must also provide hardware-based security responses to hardware speed transactions. That’s why we developed Bus Sentry. By implementing a set of transaction-level security rules for interconnection, Bus Sentry can stop malicious activity in its tracks.

With Bus Sentry embedded in critical systems, other security mechanisms become practical, going beyond what is possible with security counteraction based on design or specification. An Embedded Analytics and Security Island approach allows for adaptive protection: countermeasures and countermeasures can evolve throughout the life of the system, based on training gathered from across the system.

Advanced chip mitigation on a chip

There are many forms of attacks that do not have clear rules about them, but which can be learned, detected and mitigated using the Embedded Analytics security platform. They include:

  • Side channel attacks and denial of service
  • Use of digital signatures
  • Statistical anomalies
  • Forensic analysis

By implementing hardware-based security features on the Embedded Analytics platform – responsive IP protection, unique range of chip monitors, secure messaging infrastructure and enhanced threat mitigation activated by combining the built-in SDK with on-chip and off-chip analysis – mission-critical systems can be protected by design throughout their life cycle.

Author: Richard Oxland

Sponsored Content: Cybersecurity with Tessent Embedded Analytics

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