Why To Choose Integrated TPMs for Business-Critical Servers

  • TPM-based security operations such as server attestation, public key cryptographic, and integrity measurement functions cannot be implemented easily with software-only setups.
  • Trusted platform modules (TPMs) provide a more comprehensive range of capabilities across most mainstream computing environments.

Ensuring data security has become critical for every business incorporating digital technologies into day-to-day operations. Hardware-based trusted platform modules (TPMs) have become a popular security option in the last few years.

Trusted platform modules are security chips integrated into computing devices, such as servers, IoT devices, personal computers, etc.. They provide robust protection against various cyber threats, unauthorized access, and data breaches. TPMs give a cryptographic hash function to server chips during production, anchoring the secure boot process to silicon-based sources.

Why Businesses Prefer Securing Servers With Silicon-Based Solutions

Silicon-based security options are gaining traction for various operating systems, as they provide superior assurance to users compared to software-only alternatives. TPMs can carry out operations that require closed hardware environments, including attestation, integrity measurement, and public-key cryptographic functions, which are frequently required due to the increasing use of firmware vulnerabilities in cyber attacks, as seen below.

Cyber Attackers Leverage Firmware Vulnerabilities

Source: Aberdeen Strategy & ResearchOpens a new window

Microsoft Windows Server OS has been a leader in the use of TPM tech, incorporating the Secure Boot capability in its offerings, which takes advantage of TPM 2.0 to prevent the unauthorized installation of code before the server OS. This feature has pushed collaborations between Microsoft and various chipmakers and server providers. TPMs can be used in similar ways with other operating systems, including VMware and Linux.

See More: What is Data Anonymization? Importance, Tools and Use Cases

Advantages of Servers With TPM Integration

TPM-integrated servers use a comprehensive zero-trust strategy through continuous protection and monitoring of OS, applications, firmware, and hypervisors. According to a recent study by Aberdeen Strategy and ResearchOpens a new window , zero-trust initiatives are likely to be adopted by organizations in terms of budget and priority considerations.

As such, these servers are preferred by IT administrators as they offer: 

  • Integration with existing security controls and countermeasures
  • Automation of security for privileged server sections
  • Use of digital platform certificates
  • Immutable server identities for data security
  • Updates to maintain code integrity

These features future-proof systems against malware and rootkit attacks.

According to Aberdeen Strategy & ResearchOpens a new window , such measures can help administrators detect any tampering in supply chains while also enabling the onboarding of servers into the network without compromising security. They also help organizations scale up while minimizing associated costs.

Furthermore, only if the silicon root of trust confirms the authenticity of the firmware will it be allowed to run on the system. Built-in monitoring of TPM also helps in cases of unauthorized changes, where firmware can be restored to a previously acknowledged setting.

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Which Type of TPM Implementation Should You Choose?

To gain the most from TPMs, server providers have to integrate firmware and hardware with the TPM. This improves transparency and reliability on boot software data, which is vital for checking server health.

TPM is commonly implemented in three ways – integrated, discrete, and firmware.

  • Integrated TPMs are based on dedicated hardware in semiconductor packages that are separate from other server components. These are ideal for use in business-critical servers.
  • In cases where TPMs are being used with low-cost, low-power devices, firmware TPMs are a better option. Many chip manufacturers offer these products. These TPMs are not the best choice for business-critical applications owing to their vulnerability to advanced malware.
  • Discrete TPMs, on the other hand, are individual silicon components that are connected to server motherboards directly. However, according to the research by Aberdeen Strategy and ResearchOpens a new window , discrete TPMs should be avoided in most cases as they are vulnerable to spoofing of security measures by basic man-in-the-middle attacks if physical access is available.

See More: Breach and Tell: The Current State of Breach Disclosures

TPMs are essential in protecting digital assets against malware and other cyber attacks, controlling access to sensitive data, bolstering the trustworthiness of platforms, improving authentication processes, and even enabling the use of cloud services in a secure manner.

As technology advances, TPMs will remain a vital tool in the fight against cybercrime, enabling individuals and organizations to confidently embrace digital innovations. Emphasizing the importance of TPMs should be a priority in the quest for a safer and more secure digital future.

Do you think there are better ways to improve data assurance? Share your thoughts with us on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you!

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