A Comprehensive Security Approach

Security is not just about tools—it’s a comprehensive approach that should be integrated into every layer of system design. The concept of “Secure by Design” emphasizes building security into technology products right from the initial design phase.

In the context of Linux systems, adhering to secure design principles is crucial for enhancing overall security posture. In order to better understand what this means for you as a developer or your products as a manufacturer, let’s first explore the significance of Secure by Design and its alignment with the US National Cybersecurity Strategy.


1. What is the Secure by Design principle?

Secure by Design entails integrating security considerations into the core design and development of systems from the start, rather than adding security as an afterthought once you’re well into product development. This principle emphasizes proactive measures to minimize vulnerabilities and ensure inherent security throughout the product lifecycle.

To put it another way, when you leave home, you lock the front door to keep out strangers and protect your belongings. Doing this right from the start is like designing security into products during development—it’s about taking precautions upfront to keep things safe and secure.


2. What are the key principles under Secure by Design?

The US National Cybersecurity Strategy outlines the following fundamental principles of Secure by Design:

  • Ownership of Customer Security Outcomes: Technology providers prioritize customer security as a core business requirement, ensuring products are secure out-of-the-box.
  • Transparency and Accountability: Manufacturers embrace transparency in development practices and promptly disclose vulnerabilities.
  • Leadership Driving Security Culture: Company leadership fosters a culture where secure design prevails over insecure features.

These principles empower technology providers, such as developers and manufacturers, to deliver inherently secure products and reduce cybersecurity risks for end-users.


3. Why is Secure by Design important for the U.S. cybersecurity strategy?

The new strategy aims to dramatically reduce exploitable flaws in products before broad deployment by following Secure by Design principles during development. This represents a fundamental change from the current model where insecure technology proliferates and can force customers to suffer from vulnerabilities.

Secure by Design aligns with these new strategic goals of the US National Cybersecurity Strategy by:

  • Shifting the burden of cybersecurity from consumers to technology producers.
  • Reducing exploitable flaws in products through proactive security measures during development.
  • Promoting a culture of security and accountability among technology providers.


4. How can technology providers demonstrate Secure by Design?

Technology providers can demonstrate Secure by Design through:

  • Enabling security features by default, such as multi-factor authentication.
  • Quickly disclosing vulnerabilities and providing transparent development practices.
  • Prioritizing secure design over rushed development cycles or insecure features.
  • Implementing security early in the design process.

By adhering to these practices, providers ensure their products are resilient and less vulnerable to cyber threats and ensure that their products remain compliant with evolving cybersecurity regulations.


5. What is CISA’s role in promoting Secure by Design?

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) leads efforts to promote Secure by Design by:

  • Encouraging software manufacturers to pledge to Secure by Design principles.
  • Providing guidance on secure development tactics and principles.
  • Collaborating with industry stakeholders to prioritize cybersecurity in technology products.

CISA’s initiatives aim to foster a secure ecosystem where technology producers take accountability for delivering inherently secure solutions.


An Overview of Secure by Design

Secure by Design is not just a concept—it’s a strategic imperative to enhance cybersecurity resilience across critical infrastructure and technology. By implementing secure design principles, such as those outlined in the US National Cybersecurity Strategy, developers, manufacturers, and technology providers can play a pivotal role in safeguarding systems against evolving cyber threats. Through collaborative efforts led by agencies such as CISA, the industry can embrace a culture of security and prioritize the development of inherently secure products.

Understanding these principles not only enhances security but also provides a deeper insight into the construction and security posture of Linux systems.

By adhering to Secure by Design, we contribute to a more resilient and secure digital landscape.


Partnering with Timesys for Secure by Design Excellence

At Timesys, we understand how difficult it can be to juggle security implementation with innovation. As your trusted embedded Linux ally, we’re here to help you implement Secure by Design principles into your products, ensuring robust security right from the outset, without compromising your innovative product development lifecycle.

To this end, we’ve developed VigiShield Secure by Design: an easy-to-understand, PSA certified, security layer that can be configured to meet your current customer and regulatory (e.g. NISTIR 8259A and ETSI EN 303) requirements, and keep your products compliant with new national security standards.


How does Timesys Enable Secure by Design and Empower Your Development Efforts?

  1. Security Feature Implementation: At Timesys, we integrate core security features into devices during the design phase, including secure boot/chain of trust, device encryption, secure key storage, over-the-air (OTA) software updates, system hardening, and comprehensive security audits. This approach aligns perfectly with Secure by Design principles, prioritizing built-in security over retroactive measures.
  2. Compliance with Security Standards: We assist you in achieving compliance with essential regulatory and government security requirements, such as the US FDA Guidance, EU Cybersecurity, IEC 62304, and SCADA specifications. This ensures that your products meet stringent security standards from inception.
  3. Secure Software Supply Chain: Enhance transparency and accountability by securing your software supply chain with our tools for vulnerability detection, secure integration of third-party components, and automated patch/update notifications.
  4. Embedded Security Expertise: Leverage Timesys’ 20+ years of embedded security experience. Benefit from expert consulting, engineering services, and tailored training to implement best practices like system hardening, secure boot, encrypted storage, and trusted execution environments into your embedded systems.
  5. Long-Term Maintenance and Support: Ensure the longevity and security of your devices with our long-term support offerings, providing up to 10 years of ongoing security updates and maintenance. This commitment aligns perfectly with the Secure by Design principle of continuous security vigilance.


Empower Your Secure Product Development Journey with Timesys

By harnessing our VigiShield Secure by Design services, comprehensive security tools, expert engineering resources, and reliable long-term maintenance, you can embed security directly into your products’ DNA. Embrace Secure by Design principles with confidence, developing products that are inherently resilient and defensible against evolving cyber threats.


Explore Timesys’ Secure by Design Solutions Today!