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Adopting PUF to Implement Zero Trust Architecture

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The Executive Order issued by the US White House on May 12, 2021, requires the federal government to modernize its approach to cybersecurity by advancing toward Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) [1].

A physically unclonable function (PUF) is a key technology that supports the identity-centric policy model of ZTA. A PUF enables inborn ID and self-generated keys within a semiconductor for security services that can facilitate device identification, authentication, encryption and platform integrity verification.

This article gives a comprehensive overview of Zero Trust and its implications for PUF based Hardware Security.

Introduction to ZTA Model

Zero Trust is a new security model which requires strict identity verification: i.e., “never trust, always verify”, “explicit permission” and “least privilege” for every user and device trying to access resources on an enterprise’s network, regardless of whether an entity (human or machine) is within the network or accessing the network remotely. A detailed discussion of Zero Trust can be found in footnotes [2,3,4].

The five foundational technology components for ZTA are as follows…

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