ARM unveils its Platform Security Architecture

2 min read

With the support of key industry players including the likes of Google, Amazon and Cisco, ARM has announced the launch of its Platform Security Architecture (PSA), a holistic set of documents and specifications that the company hopes will help shift the economics of security to the advantage of the entire industry.

ARM is also launching new silicon IP for building secure systems.

By 2021 ARM expects to have shipped 200 billion ARM based devices and as the value of the Internet of Things is unlocked so no one entity will be able to ensure, own or provide end-to-end security. As a result, consideration now needs to be given to the issue of security across the entire value chain from device to data and while diversity in the industry is critical to achieve scale, according to ARM, just as important will be a shared approach to best practice when it comes to security.

ARM has been investing heavily in security over a period of years and is looking to provide common ground rules for the entire industry, including a set of hardware and software architectural specifications.

In response, ARM has announced the introduction of the first common industry framework for building secure connected devices, called Platform Security Architecture (PSA).

According to chief system architect Andy Rose and his team at ARM, PSA delivers: representative IoT Threat Models and security analyses; hardware and firmware architecture specifications, built on key security principles, defining a best practice approach for designing endpoint devices and a reference open source implementation of the firmware specification, called Trusted Firmware-M.

ARM said that it believed PSA would provide a fundamental shift in the economics of IoT security, enabling ecosystems to build on a common set of ground rules to reduce the cost, time and risk associated with IoT security today.

To allow the IoT ecosystem to more rapidly realise the benefits associated with PSA, ARM will also be delivering an open source reference implementation firmware conforming to the PSA specification.

Development will initially target Armv8-M systems, with source code release expected in early 2018.

PSA is OS agnostic and is capable of being supported by all of the company’s RTOS and software vendor partners, including the latest version of its market-proven ARM Mbed OS.

To coincide with the launch of PSA ARM has also announced new additions to its portfolio of security IP:

•ARM TrustZone CryptoIsland – A new family of highly integrated security subsystems providing on-die, smartcard-level security starting with CryptoIsland-300 which targets applications requiring high levels of isolation and security, such as LPWA communication, storage, and automotive.

•ARM CoreSight SDC-600 Secure Debug Channel – Evolving IoT use cases results in more devices requiring device lifecycle debug access. SDC-600 enables full debug capabilities without compromising system security, integrating a dedicated authentication mechanism for debug access.