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Friday, January 8, 2016

Securing the Internet of Things

Draper Contributes Cyber Security Expertise to RISC-V Foundation

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.

Draper takes advantage of the development community’s improvements to the RISC-V processor as it designs chips with security as a fundamental principal.
Capabilities Used
Autonomous Systems

Draper combines mission planning, PN&T, situational awareness, and novel GN&C designs to develop and deploy autonomous platforms for ground, air, sea and undersea needs. These systems range in complexity from human-in-the-loop to systems that operate without any human intervention. The design of these systems generally involves decomposing the mission needs into sets of scenarios that result in trade studies that lead to an optimized solution with key performance requirements.  Draper continues to advance the field of autonomy through research in the areas of mission planning, sensing and perception, mobility, learning, real-time performance evaluation and human trust in autonomous systems.


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. 

Secure & Assured Systems

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.

Image & Data Analytics

Draper combines specific domain expertise and knowledge of how to apply the latest analytics techniques to extract meaningful information from raw data to better understand complex, dynamic processes. Our system design approach encompasses effective organization and processing of large data sets, automated analysis using algorithms and exploitation of results. To facilitate user interaction with these processed data sets, Draper applies advanced techniques to automate understanding and correlation of patterns in the data. Draper’s expertise encompasses machine learning (including deep learning), information fusion from diverse and heterogeneous data sources, optimized coupling of data acquisition and analysis and novel methods for analysis of imagery and video data.

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