Dover to provide commercial sector with access to novel hardware-based, defense-grade cyber security solution
CAMBRIDGE, MA—Draper is extending its leadership in hardware-based cyber security honed on projects for the U.S. government with the spin-out of Dover Microsystems, a deal that provides both companies access to the fast-growing cyber security market with a powerful, flexible and cyber resilient embedded processor chip developed at Draper called the Inherently Secure Processor (ISP).
To secure their systems, the vast majority of organizations today focus their cyber security efforts on software-related applications and programs, which are riddled with vulnerabilities that provide cyber attackers a clear roadmap to attack critical systems, devices and enterprise applications. In developing the ISP, Draper’s intent was to provide silicon chip developers and manufacturers with a design that embeds security directly into hardware at the processor level.
“Draper’s proven hardware-based cyber security solution brings inherent protection to out-of-the-box devices for the first time,” said Draper President and CEO Kaigham J. Gabriel. “While Draper continues to provide this technology to our government customers, the spin-off of Dover Microsystems broadens its availability to the commercial sector.”
Under the agreement, Draper continues to serve government, military and non-profit customers, while Dover serves the commercial sector, focusing on the embedded and industrial computing markets, such as semiconductor, medical, energy, transportation, retail and the Industrial Internet of Things.
According to Gabriel, “Spin-offs are one of the many ways that Draper contributes to the innovation economy. When technologies mature to the point where their continued development and sustainment can be funded commercially, Draper spins them out to allow new industries to emerge.”
Originally developed at Draper following DARPA funded research, the Inherently Secure Processor combines hardware and software security principles of DARPA’s CRASH program to practical embedded systems. Draper has demonstrated that the processor, which protects embedded systems from the vulnerabilities caused by human error during software development, is immune to classes of both known and unknown vulnerabilities, including buffer overflows, code injection, privilege escalation attacks and advanced cyber-attacks.
The Inherently Secure Processor can be implemented with any Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) processor and is currently optimized for the latest generation RISC-V architecture as a co-processor solution. It can be easily customized for individual customer’s embedded systems, and features adaptable and updatable technology, providing customers with longevity and resiliency into the future.
“Dover addresses cyber security at its root cause: the processor,” said Jothy Rosenberg, CEO and co-founder of Dover Microsystems and formerly group leader of Draper’s Inherently Secure Processing Group. “The Dover co-processor developed at Draper is now available to the commercial market through Dover Microsystems and to the government market through Draper.”
Draper, which has amassed a large body of vulnerability, exploit, malware, rootkit and backdoor information, provides cyber security capabilities to commercial, government and non-profit customers increasingly concerned about evolving cyber threats. The company has applied its multidisciplinary engineering capabilities to a variety of related programs including machine learning to combat online extremism, cyberbullying and other abuse of social media applications; and cryptographically encoded, high-bandwidth communications for UAVs.
Draper has designed and developed microelectronic components and systems going back to the mid-1980s. Our integrated, ultra-high density (iUHD) modules of heterogeneous components feature system functionality in the smallest form factor possible through integration of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology with Draper-developed custom packaging and interconnect technology. Draper continues to pioneer custom Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) and custom radio frequency components for both commercial (microfluidic platforms organ assist, drug development, etc.) and government (miniaturized data collection, new sensors, Micro-sats, etc.) applications. Draper features a complete in-house iUHD and MEMS fabrication capability and has existing relationships with many other MEMS and microelectronics fabrication facilities.
Over the past 10 years, Draper has extracted miniature systems and real-time embedded systems design knowledge to develop cyber capabilities to assess software vulnerabilities and capabilities to secure electronics systems. Additionally, Draper has demonstrated secure networks featuring over-the-air keying to realize cryptographically encoded, high-bandwidth communications for UAVs and other applications. These complementary capabilities and technologies provide robust security solutions to guard critical embedded systems against cyber, reverse engineering, and other attacks and ensure that critical information can be protected and delivered in a timely and accurate manner.
Draper continues to develop its expertise in designing, characterizing and processing materials at the macro-, micro- and nanoscales. Understanding the physical properties and behaviors of materials at these various scales is vital to exploit them successfully in designing components or systems. This enables the development and integration of biomaterials, 3D printing and additive manufacturing, wafer fabrication, chemical and electrochemical materials and structural materials for application to system-level solutions required of government and commercial sponsors.