nSHIELD - embedded Systems arcHItecturE for multi-Layer Dependable solutions

The roadmap proposed in this pilot project aims at addressing security, privacy and dependability in the context of embedded systems as “built in” rather than as “add-on” functionalities, proposing and perceiving with this strategy the first step toward security, privacy and dependability certification for future embedded systems.

Within this scope, the role of nSHIELD will be to cover this roadmap.

The nSHIELD project is, at the same time, a complement and an improvement of “pSHIELD”, a pilot project funded in ARTEMIS Call 2009 as the first investigation to build the SHIELD Architectural Framework for security, privacy and dependability (SPD).

The leading concept is to demonstrate composability of SPD technologies. Starting from current SPD solutions in embedded systems (ESs), the project will develop new technologies and consolidate the ones already explored in pSHIELD in a solid basement that will become the reference milestone for a new generation of “SPD-ready” ESs. SHIELD will approach SPD at 4 different levels: node, network, middleware and overlay. For each level, the state of the art in SPD of single technologies and solutions will be improved and integrated (hardware and communication technologies, cryptography, middleware, smart SPD applications, etc.).

The SPD technologies will be enhanced with the composable functionality that are being studied and designed in pSHIELD, in order to fit in the SHIELD architectural framework. The composability of this architectural framework will have great impact on the system design costs and time to market of new SPD solutions in ESs. At the same time, the integrated use of SPD metrics in the framework will have impact on the development cycles of SPD in ESs because the qualification, (re-)certification and (re-)validation process of a SHIELD framework instance will be faster, easier and widely accepted. The use of an overlay approach to SPD and the introduction of semantic technologies address the complexity associated with the design, development and deployment of built-in SPD in ESs. Using semantics, the available technologies can be automatically composed to match the needed, application specific SPD levels, resulting also in an effort reduction during all the design, operational and maintaining phases.

The SHIELD approach, as explored in the pilot project, is based on modularity and expandability, and can be adopted to bring built-in SPD solutions in all the strategic sector of ARTEMIS, such as transportation, communication, health, energy and manufacturing. To achieve these challenging goals the project aims to create an innovative, modular, composable, expandable and high-dependable architectural framework, concrete tools and common SPD metrics capable of improving the overall SPD level in any specific application domain, with minimum engineering effort. The whole ESs lifecycle will be supported to provide the highest cross-layer and cross-domain levels of SPD and guaranteeing their maintenance and evolution in time.

In order to verify these important achievements, the project will validate the SHIELD integrated system by means of relevant scenarios: (i) Railroad administration, (ii) Dependable avionic systems, (iii) Hazardous waste management, (iv) Dependable health services. The project will have a great impact on the SPD market of the ESs. By addressing the reusability of previous designed solutions, the interoperability of advanced SPD technologies and the standardized SDP certificability, it is possible to estimate an overall 30% cost reduction for a full SHIELD oriented design methodology.

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