Why Implement Hardware Security?


The answer is very simple: Hardware key storage beats software key storage every time.

Cryptographic security is a field replete with mathematical sophistication and complexity. However, the most basic principle of cryptography is extremely simple to understand, and that is: Security is only as strong as how securely the secret key is stored. A key that is stored in software is always vulnerable to software bugs that can be exploited by hackers and other cyber thieves. Even software designed specifically for security is never foolproof as recent gigantic data breaches have proven. Hardware key storage, on the other hand, is designed with one important and fundamental purpose: to protect the stored secret key in tamper-proof hardware that employs an array of sophisticated countermeasures against attack. The bottom line is that with hardware key storage, attackers cannot see what is inside the key storage device’s hardened hardware barriers, which matters because attackers cannot attack what they cannot see. It is that simple.


Atmel’s industry leading portfolio of security devices are designed for a wide spectrum of applications, from Ecosystem Control to ensure only OEM or licensed nodes and accessories will work, Message Control and Authentication to enable node authentication and ensure data integrity, Secure Boot & Download Encryption to protect code while in-transit and authenticate it when it arrives, and Anti-Cloning and IP Protection to prevent building of products with identical parts or misappropriated code, as well as many others. Flexibility, advanced features, costeffective architecture and ultra-secure hardware defense mechanisms make Atmel CryptoAuthentication™ and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) devices an ideal way to add trust, by design.


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