What is design security?

Definition of safety by design What is design security?

Security by design is a design concept used in hardware and software development. The security of hardware or software is already taken into account in the development process and integrated throughout the life cycle of a product. The design criteria include, for example, minimizing the attack surface, using encryption and authentication, and isolating security-relevant areas. Security is continuously tested.

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What is design security?
Security by design is a design approach in hardware and software development that requires that security be taken into account already in the development process.

Security by Design, also known as Secure by Design, is a design approach from the IT environment that takes into account the security of the hardware or software throughout the life cycle of a product. Already in the development phase of a product, emphasis is placed on compliance with safety requirements, and an appropriate safety architecture is implemented. Design security extends from the idea generation phase to the end of a product. The goal is to develop and launch products that are inherently vulnerability-free and resistant to attacks and other security threats. Thanks to the early consideration of security aspects, high costs to eliminate security vulnerabilities later in the project and during use or operation of hardware or software can be avoided.

Due to the increasing fusion of IT and OT (Operational Technology), also known as IT / OT convergence, the Security by Design approach is becoming increasingly important for Industry 4.0 processes and the Internet of Things (IoT). The design criteria for secure products include, for example, minimizing the attack surface, using encryption and authentication, and isolating security-relevant areas.

Design principles applied for Security by Design

To develop hardware or software according to the Security by Design approach, different design principles are used. The surface of the attack is minimized, so that the products are inherently safe and resistant to attack or other threats. This can be accomplished by omitting or disabling redundant components. The data or information used or processed by the systems must always be considered as worthy of protection. Data is encrypted and access is only allowed for authenticated users or system components. With regard to the rights of users or system components, the principle of minimum privilege applies. In addition, all entries must be checked and only allowed characters or commands allowed. Another design principle for Security by Design is the separation of systems and the isolation of security-relevant areas. Regular safety tests must be performed throughout the life cycle of a product. In addition, it must be possible to deliver and import firmware updates, security patches or software updates until the end of a product.

Benefits of Security by Design

Taking into account the safety-by-design approach offers many benefits, such as:

  • Reduced risk of security holes and vulnerabilities in hardware and software
  • less likely to fall victim to an attack or other security threat
  • higher quality and robustness of the products
  • Larger customers’ trust in the delivered products
  • less cost to eliminate vulnerabilities and security holes
  • reduced liability risk for companies
  • Avoidance of production stoppages in industry 4.0
  • more security in the Internet of Things

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