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Longer Chip Lifecycles Increase Security Threat

By: Ed Sperling

Updates can change everything, whether it’s a system or something connected to that system.

These problems have been escalating as more devices are connected to the Internet and to each other, but it’s particularly worrisome when it involves cars, robots, avionics, and industrial and commercial equipment. For those applications, chips, systems, and systems of systems are expected to function 15 years or more. But in many cases these systems also are extremely complex. Some are developed using leading-edge node technology and/or unique architectures, as system architects try to squeeze every possible computation per watt out of these devices.


Whether that is sufficient remains to be seen. “Is my IT department looking out for me enough to monitor what these updates are doing?” asked John Hallman, product manager for trust and security at OneSpin Solutions. “Looking at our network traffic, is there something abnormal happening now that I’ve gone and installed the new update? And have I allowed the new update to be pushed without any real checking on our systems?”


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