The latest phase of the UK government-backed Digital Security by Design (DSbD) program will see 10 companies experimenting with prototype cybersecurity technology designed to radically strengthen computers’ underlying hardware.
The technology, developed by semiconductor and software design company Arm in collaboration with researchers from the University of Cambridge, is known as Capability Hardware Enhanced RISC Instructions (CHERI). This year, the team launched the designed and built a system on chip (SoC) and demonstrator board, Morello, which adapts the hardware concepts of CHERI. This
If successfully incorporated into computer hardware, it is estimated that this technology can prevent most security vulnerabilities from ever occurring, potentially helping stop around two-thirds of hacks, cyber-attacks and data breaches.
The CHERI architecture is the primary focus of the DSbD initiative, a collaboration between academia, industry and government, which seeks to develop and implement solutions that secure computers by design, thereby promoting trust in digital technologies.
The Morello boards are available to industry to experiment with to enable feedback that could influence the design of future, more secure computer systems.
The UK authority on advanced digital technology, Digital Catapult, has now selected the first 10 companies to participate in its DSbD Technology Access Programme. Over the next six months, these firms will test and evaluate the Morello boards within their own businesses and provide findings back to the program.
The selected companies come from across the length and breadth of the UK:
In addition to accessing the technologies, the companies will receive up to £15,000 in funding to support their experimentation period.
Prof. John Goodacre, challenge director, Digital Security by Design, UK Research and Innovation, commented: “DSbD will radically update the foundation of the insecure digital computing infrastructure by creating a new, more secure hardware and software ecosystem. The breadth of companies taking part in this technology access program is a key step in building a security-first mindset amongst industry.”
Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult, said: “Digital Catapult’s unique combination of technology, industry, and innovation expertise puts us in an excellent position to help tackle new market challenges associated with advanced technology adoption.
“Our Technology Access Programme’s first cohort will see 10 businesses get hands on with groundbreaking cybersecurity tools from industry leaders – allowing them to build their organizational resilience and provide invaluable feedback to shape the security landscape of the future.”
Recently, Infosecurity undertook an in-depth analysis of the DSbD initiative and its potential impact.