The complexity of software in embedded applications from the Internet of Things (IoT) to critical weapons systems has continued to grow. With growth comes new areas of concern for security and robustness. For defense systems that contain Critical Program Information (CPI), this CPI must be protected at rest, in motion, and during use. While CPI protection is traditionally considered an anti-tamper function, additional cybersecurity requirements can require specific handling of data (e.g. red/black separation in crypto systems, cross-domain in Multiple Independent Level of Security (MILS) systems). These cybersecurity requirements are normally addressed in server/desktop applications using a hypervisor which manages multiple Virtual Machines (VM). Hypervisors have only recently come into use in embedded applications as System on Chip (SoC) devices incorporating multiple 64-bit Arm Cortex-A cores powerful enough to support their use have become available. These embedded hypervisors have been adapted from their server/desktop applications and ported to embedded architectures. This adaptation results in a large code-base, which can be difficult to certify in security applications. In addition, these hypervisors do not integrate with advanced anti-tamper systems needed to adequately protect CPI and may not have real-time capability needed for many cyber-physical applications. 

Emerging applications such as Unmanned Systems have unique security needs that are not addressed by traditional security solutions. Another application with unique security needs is Software Defined Communications. Software Defined Radios (SDR) are revolutionizing communications capabilities, but they are “computers with an antenna”.  As SDR capabilities increase, so does the amount of embedded software in an SDR which increases the number of possible vulnerabilities. Some of this software can be difficult to test for vulnerabilities and might not have been designed to address evolving Cyber and Electronic Warfare threats.

Secmation Solution

Secmation’s Cybersecurity technologies are leading the way in increasing the security of embedded systems and addressing cybersecurity needs in new applications.  Secmation security architectures provide innovative means for protecting embedded systems. These security architectures are implemented through unique combinations of hardware and software protection mechanisms. 

Secmation’s integrated software security solutions “bridge the gap” between anti-tamper and cybersecurity disciplines and provide an integrated solution for protecting CPI through the software stack in embedded applications.  

Secmation’s CyRF technology  provides a unique capability to test SDRs for hard-to-find security vulnerabilities in the signal processing software physical layer.