Cyber threats are becoming more rampant than before. There are several factors that have pushed us to this level. The mere fact that we are living in an interconnected digital age means that we are more vulnerable to different threats. Malicious persons and entities can easily take advantage of these interconnections between devices to launch cyber-attacks. We are living in an age when data is more important than before. Every decision that is to be implemented will depend on data. IC chip security is just one of the many mechanisms that are used to fortify the security of devices and data in this digital age.
The heart of electronic devices and applications
Why should IC chips get all the attention in relation to cybersecurity? Integrated circuits are the heart of all electrical devices and appliances. Also known as microchips or semiconductor chips, they give any electric-powered device life. Whether it is a tiny wearable device such as a smartwatch or a massive industrial machinery. Your device is able to operate how it should because it has an integrated circuit that is embedded in it.
IC chips are used for power management, data management, control, processing, display, security, and all other functions that you can list on your device. Most of these chips are programmed to function in the way that they are supposed to.
A failure on the IC chip will affect the normal operation of a device. Let’s say the chip is used for data processing and data storage: If the chip designed for the data management function fails, there will be an interruption to the flow and storage of data. The target recipient may end up not receiving it or, the information may end up being distorted.
Various factors can affect the state of semiconductor chips in a device. Among them are cyber threats. It is for this reason that IC security has become an important topic in IC design and production.
A growing concern about cybersecurity threats
The growth of technology has brought about a new wave of cybersecurity threats. News of data breaches in organizations is becoming normal. In as much as security measures in electric devices are being enhanced, hackers are always coming up with new methods of exploiting different vulnerabilities.
Cyberattacks always leave massive losses and a trail of destruction. One of the most common impacts is unauthorized access to sensitive data. Some attacks cause total failure of hardware electric systems, especially ones that are automated. Modern financial systems are fully digital. A breach of security can easily translate into direct financial losses
Protecting semiconductor chips from cybersecurity threats
With the growing cybersecurity concerns, the security of electric devices and systems starts at their hearts: semiconductor chips. Once the chip is secured, every aspect of the device will be safe.
Different techniques are used to secure IC chips from cybersecurity threats. They include:
- Security chips: These are specialized chips that are specifically geared for security functionality. They are embedded with security-centered programs to secure systems.
- Cryptographic chips: Also known as crypto chips, they are used for controlling access to data through authentication and encryption.
- Using firmware: IC chips have secure firmware that prevents interference or tapering of the rootkits that run devices. This is a protection measure against malware attacks.
- Security in IC supply chain: The supply pain of the IC chip is streamlined to prevent the introduction of vulnerabilities on the chip. IC chip suppliers are fully incorporated into security programs.
- Security tests and validations: before IC chips are delivered to the market, they are subjected to vigorous cybersecurity threats where necessary improvements are made.
The security of systems is heavily reliant on the IC chips. With the implementation of strategic measures against cybersecurity threats, it is easy to have a completely secure and functional system. As new security challenges keep emerging every other day, developers are also doing more research to come up with innovative solutions.