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In todayโ€™s time, there are increasing threats relating to IT hardware security such as counterfeit hardware, untested and unpatched hardware, insecure authentication protocols being followed, and a new wave of hardware exploits at the kernel and BIOS level. The increasing use of devices like computers, servers and AIOs, among others also leads to increased hardware threats, and therefore, the need to resolve them has become critical for consumer interest as well as national security.

As an example, a hardware flaw was found that impacted devices worldwide, which tricked the processor into executing instructions along the wrong path. By the time the processor recovered and completed its task as instructed, hackers could access confidential data.

The problems are multifaceted and can potentially lead to:

* Stealing of credentials on a high-security enterprise network

* Evading detection from virtually any endpoint protection solution
* Causing damage to hardware with full control of a system

IT hardware companies have taken cognizance of such threats and are using the latest technologies to offer protection against hardware and embedded software-related threats. However, this is a rapidly evolving field with hackers using novel methodologies to compromise hardware security and the industry using the latest technologies to counter them. Key industry players are going a step ahead in proactively finding any security loopholes that a hacker may exploit.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology also recognises the importance of hardware security and has championed the formation of the ๐—–๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—›๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฆ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—˜๐—ป๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ฝ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฐ๐—ต ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐——๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ (C-HERD), which is led by the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) in partnership with Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and Indian Institute of Technology, Madras to establish a centre for deep technology hardware security.

Now is the opportune moment to establish a dedicated link between Industry, the Government of India, and academia to counter the hazards of hardware security.

Article contributed by Sandeep Kochhar, Senior Director, MAIT

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