NSA, Trusted Computing Group and Intel collaborate to standardise supply chain risk management

By Dale Benton
The National Security Agency (NSA) has unveiled new software that is designed to “set the standard” in Supply Chain Risk Management. NSA Research...

The National Security Agency (NSA) has unveiled new software that is designed to “set the standard” in Supply Chain Risk Management.

NSA Research, together with the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), a consortium of industry partners has been working for two years alongside Intel to release software that will standardise a supply chain validation process that can be used on any computing device.


During the manufacturing process, TCG-defined certificates are created to capture attributes about the device. The certificates are then delivered with the device in the Trust Platform Modul (TPM), a secure information storage system that captures data throughout the process.  NSA says that this information will come from multi-vendor devises and multi-stage production.

The information stored within the TPM is then broken down and assessed by NSA’s Host Integrity at Runtime and Startup (HIRS) software to validate the source of components in order to highlight and alleviate supply chain risks.

“The development of open source tools for Trusted Computing-based supply chain validation provides the U.S. Government with greater confidence in the security of our mission critical systems,” said Peg Mitchell, NSA Chief Information Security Officer. “The cryptographically verifiable certificates that bind devices and peripherals to their trusted platform manufacturer will help reduce supply chain threats. This technology will bolster the security posture for NSA, the Department of Defense, and for commercial entities that require high confidence in the integrity of their systems.”

NSA will be showcasing its new software at RSA 2019 in San Francisco from March 4th to the 8th.


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