CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Internet of Things includes more than 16 billion wireless devices today. The security challenges with these interconnected things was demonstrated last year when hackers took control of a Jeep while it was driving on a St. Louis highway. While that incident was disturbing, cyber criminals may be more likely to exploit vulnerabilities for broader impact, such as spying on corporate or government networks and damaging critical infrastructure like electrical grids. As software applications grow in complexity, the likelihood of human errors that leave openings for hackers increases as well.
To protect against these vulnerabilities, Draper is working to give system designers and manufactures a “do over” by designing computer chips called Dover™ with security as a fundamental element of the hardware design. The Dover™ chips are based on the RISC-V processor’s open instruction set architecture. Draper is contributing its cyber security expertise to the RISC-V Foundation, which it joined as a co-founding member on Jan. 5.
“Preventing cyberattacks is critical to our nation’s economic and national security,” said Draper President and CEO Kaigham J. Gabriel. “Advancing security at the processor level is the logical next step in cyber security. We look forward to working with the RISC-V Foundation to ensure tomorrow’s systems are as secure as possible.”
Other founding members include Google, Hewlett Packard, Oracle, and Microsemi.
Designers can take advantage of the RISC-V processor’s open instruction set architecture to incorporate new innovations and remove errors. Pooling these contributions also can help reduce the processor’s cost, an important factor in expanding the Internet of Things. Draper has been able to take advantage of the development community’s improvements to the RISC-V processor as it made its own modifications that enforce security rules to prevent hackers from exploiting human errors in code, said Jothy Rosenberg, associate director for Draper’s cyber security group.
Rick O’Connor, executive director of the RISC-V Foundation, said he was “very pleased” to have Draper involved as a co-founder.
“As a leading research and development company focused on design, development and deployment of advanced systems for government, industry, and academia, Draper will be a strong contributor within the RISC-V community,” O’Connor said.