This article is published in the May 2023 issue.

CCC Releases Mechanism Design for Improving Hardware Security Workshop Report

By Maddy Hunter, CCC Program Associate

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is pleased to release the Mechanism Design for Improving Hardware Security Workshop Report. On August 24-25, 2022, the CCC held a visioning workshop on Mechanism Design for Improving Hardware Security in Washington, D.C. Led by Simha Sethumadhavan and Tim Sherwood, the workshop brought together experts in hardware and software security, economics, and government policy to investigate ways to improve the design and uptake of hardware security mechanisms.

With the increasing pervasiveness of hardware in society, comes a parallel increase in hardware security concerns. Recent hardware attacks such as Spectre and Meltdown demonstrate just how devastating and dangerous these attacks can be. With the availability of free hardware designs and tools, the prevalence and discovery of these types of design/security problems are likely to accelerate. While these problems are well known in society, very little is being done to prevent these types of catastrophes.

Through a combination of interdisciplinary discussions and speeches from experts in the space, participants considered mechanisms to incentivize designers, system integrators, and users to create and maintain the security of their systems. The report emphasizes how important hardware security is and outlines key recommendations and findings from the participant discussions at the workshop. The recommendations are the following:

  1. Foster Diverse Educational, Professional, and Industrial Communities in Hardware Security
  2. Lay the Scientific Foundations for Work that Combines Incentives and Technology
  3. Make Security Accountable and Explainable
  4. Co-Develop Emerging Technologies with the Understanding of their Hardware Security Ramifications
  5. Prioritize the Human Impact of Hardware Security

Read the report to find out more about why hardware security matters and how to incentivize the creation of secure systems.

CCC Releases Mechanism Design for Improving Hardware Security Workshop Report