Embedded system designers are rewriting the design conventions to address the ever-increasing cybersecurity concerns.
FREMONT, CA: Embedded devices power a wide range of applications. The advancements in embedded system designs facilitate omnichannel connectivity. While connectivity can have numerous operational advantages, it can also impact the devices negatively due to the rise in cyberattacks. Thus, device manufacturers have shifted their focus to include cybersecurity features right at the design phase. However, implementing cybersecurity can be challenging and alter fundamental architectural prototypes for embedded system designs.
It is essential to understand here that cybersecurity is not merely a functional requirement. An embedded system designer must understand the risks that must be mitigated. Hardware selection can be a crucial step as it can immensely affect an electronic system’s ability to face cyber threats. For instance, attackers can take advantage of Rowhammer vulnerabilities, which is associated with a dynamic random-access memory (DRAM). While other cyber attacks can be mitigated through firmware updates, a Rowhammer attack can have an unintended and undesirable side effect in DRAM, resulting in increased power consumption, thereby limiting hardware performance.
The way the system’s data flows can have secondary effects on system performance. For instance, encryption techniques needed to ensure system and data confidentiality during storage and transit can significantly impact the performance of the central processing unit. Such requirements arise due to cybersecurity concerns and end up impacting the entire architecture of the systems laced with embedded devices. Further, the legacy system’s interoperability issues, physical security, and specific safety conditions, based on the size, platform, power, and weight limitations, can influence architectural planning.
Increasingly embedded architects are stressing upon the importance of hardware preparedness against possible cyberattacks. Such architectural requirements may reshape the design rules that are being followed for the embedded systems.
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