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21-05-2010, 11:35 PM

.doc   SECURE EMBEDDED PROCESSORS.doc (Size: 263.5 KB / Downloads: 81)


As networks incorporate more and more devices and span multiple location effectively removing the network perimeter they become increasingly vulnerable to threats. Such threats include theft of confidential data hacks and malicious code -providing unguarded entry into corporate networks and IT systems. To provide high performance security solutions that protect data, application and infrastructure equipment manufacturers are trying to integrate security solutions even-at the chip level. This need has led to the development of a new class of chip known as secure embedded processors which integrates the security functions and embedded processor in a system-on-chip fashion
While dedicated processors have be employed widely in communication equipment over the last few years to ensure maximum protection of data, both enterprise and SOHO customers are demanding security be embedded in the networking devices. This need can be satisfied by the use of secure embedded processors, which can be embedded in the devices directly. And a high performance boost and stronger security solution over the current stand-alone security processors
Various security protocols included in the security systems are added to the secure embedded processors so that the complete security functions can be off loaded from the host processors. So that it integrates protocol intelligent hardware to a processor The growing need to better protect data communications, while enabling high performance network systems, has driven the demand for a wide range of security processors and secure processors, from stand-alone security coprocessors to protocol-hardened security engines, which have become an essential part of integrated communication processors.


The basic requirements of network security are
1. Confidentiality: The data that the user exchange must be prevented from eavesdropping
2. Integrity: The data that is transferred across the network should be prevented from modification
3. Authentication: Identities need to be protected to make sure that information is only exchanged between the intended persons or entities, and that information or service is only available to the users who have appropriate rights to access it
To meet this requirement for secure data communication organization deploy a wide range of security measures in their network devices
Typical services that use security measures include
1 Enterprise and Access switches and router products
2 Office automation solution and printers
3 VPN and SSL services
4 Intrusion detection and prevention appliances
5 Storage area and network devices


Encryption: In order to secure networks appropriate measures have to be taken such as new firewall and Intrusion prevention systems that identifies and prevent attacks. As more and more data is transferred through the network encryption of all data becomes important .All systems rely on cryptography to ensure confidentiality, authorization, and authentication. And data integrity of communication over potentially unsafe networks such as Internet. Encryption is the foundation for all higher-level security protocols such as Internet Security Protocol, Secure Sockets Layer, Secure Multi Protocol Layer Protocol

Various cryptographic algorithms have been invented and employed to address the increasing demand for the security. Hashing algorithms such as SHA-256 help preserve the data integrity are used for digital signatures Public key algorithm is mainly used for key generation exchange key confidentiality, signing and signature verification while symmetric algorithms are mainly used for data confidentiality


Generally security can be implemented in a system by different methods. The basics methods are defined below
1. Run security software on a general purpose processors
2. Employ a separate security co-processors
3. Using a single integrated devices known as security enabled processors
The above mentioned methods have its own drawbacks software algorithms are generally computation intensive Symmetric encryption and decryption technologies require many bit manipulation operation .Software running on a general processor is often inefficient in performing such operation. The many instruction needed to implement cryptographic operation consume valuable CPU resources. There by adversely affecting the system performance and scalability. Executing security algorithms on a general purpose processor will only be done in a client type situation where a single interactive session is being secured.


The more effective alternative to software is cryptographic hardware acceleration in silicon. Dedicated hardware allows for efficient, high-performance implementations of cryptographic operations; the hardware logic is specifically designed to perform the cryptographic algorithms, thereby greatly outperforming software. While a general-purpose processor requires many instructions to implement an operation using general-purpose hardware blocks (such as an adder or a shift register), dedicated hardware crypto implementations only use the silicon cells that are strictly needed to perform the cryptographic operation. The efficiency of dedicated hardware also brings along the advantage of reduced power consumption.
Another important benefit of hardware implementations is reduced vulnerability. While it may not be very difficult to alter security software running on a general purpose processor, it is far more complex and expensive to tamper with a cryptographic security engine embedded in a chip. In a very simple scenario, the hardware accelerators only implement basic cryptographic operations and operate under full control of an external host processor. The general purpose (host) processor is freed to focus on data processing, communications and exchanging information, such as commands, status, keys, initialization vectors, state information, as well as input and output data with the hardware accelerator.
Several alternatives and improvements exist for the scenario described above. First of all, the system can enable more efficient communications with the hardware accelerator by allowing DMA and burst accesses. The host processor therefore doesn
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