Embedded Security: Trusted Platform Module Technology Comes of Age

Embedded Security: Trusted Platform Module Technology Comes of Age With hundreds of millions of electronic transactions taking place daily, businesses and organizations have a strong incentive to protect the integrity of the data exchanged in this manner, and to positively ensure the identities of those involved in the transactions. This has led to an industry-wide quest for better, more secure methods for controlling IT operations, and for deploying strong security mechanisms deeply and broadly throughout networked infrastructures and client devices - including mobile computing equipment and desktop machines.

One of the more successful concepts to engage the imaginations of the security community has been the development of standards-based security chips that can be incorporated in the hardware design of client computers. The principle of encapsulating core security capabilities in silicon and integrating security provisions at the deepest levels of the machine operation has significant benefits for both users and those responsible for securing IT operations. The Trusted Platform Module (TPM) integrated circuit is making significant inroads throughout the industry as both independent hardware vendors and independent software vendors tailor products to utilitze this standards-based approach to secure computing.

This paper examines the benefits that TPM chips bring to security-conscious businesses, and the ways in which this technology can elevate trusted computing to higher levels, enhancing security while simplifying usability. It also traces the history of the Trusted Computing Group and explores ways in which standards-based security mechanisms are becoming more deeply integrated into hardware, operating systems, and networking protocols.

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