IBM unveils new processor encryption technology

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IBM announced today that it is changing the way security can be built into devices and consumer products.

Big Blue is producing a new technology developed by IBM Research that protects the integrity of information on a device even when a potential attacker has physical access. Codenamed "SecureBlue," this technology is a security architecture that can be built directly into a microprocessor to protect the security of the chip as well as the entire device.  

Researchers at IBM said this is the first embedded architecture of its kind, and they believe that building security into hardware will pose better protection from reverse-engineering and tampering. 

IBM officials said building defenses within devices may be the next step to securing the enterprise. Typically cryptography-based protection is used for high-end computers. IBM, however, hopes to bring crypto-based strong protection to all types of devices through SecureBlue in order to provide encryption from end-to-end.

"Security is the highest priority in the data center and in a secure network – but it is only half the equation. To have a truly secure system, security must be addressed end to end; from the data center all the way to the end user," said Charles Palmer, IBM Research's manager of security and privacy. 

Palmer said that he thinks SecureBlue could be a security "seal of approval in verticals such as health care, government and defense."

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