With the growing quantity and quality of cyber attacks and cybercrime, the security of devices, data, and communications exchanged by companies, institutions, and private citizens is constantly at risk.
When it comes to sensitive data and communications, the problem proves even more critical, requiring a sufficiently high level of attention even considering the recent regulatory adjustments imposed, such as the NIS2 Directive.
In this sense, all parties involved in handling sensitive and/or confidential information, or included in critically important supply chains, are called upon to equip themselves with technologies and procedures aimed at raising their standards of cybersecurity and resilience.
In response to this need, Telsy and TIM are launching the first made-in-Italy cryptographic microprocessor, designed entirely in Italy with a European supply chain and with targeted and controlled partnerships.
A technology capable of elevating security in different technological areas, from mobile devices to Smart Cities, from cloud infrastructures to the Internet of Things (IoT) to defense systems, in response to the growing market needs related to technology governance.
The Secure Microchip project was born to realize an Italian microcontroller for security applications that reflects characteristics of sovereignty and technological independence of the logical, architectural, and functional design of national chips, with a strong security architecture and proprietary cryptographic activation mechanisms that guarantee zero trust of the solution, from the hardware production cycle to final delivery to the user.
The primary objective is the realization of a device that acts as the Italian cryptographic Root of Trust, to ensure the cybersecurity of complex systems whose supply chain is necessarily heterogeneous and global.
The project pursues a twofold strategic objective, which consists of the possibility for the country to contribute to the securing of public and private infrastructures in a cross-cutting, scalable, and proprietary way.
What is the Secure Microchip
The Secure Microchip is a programmable and secure-by-design micro-platform, a cryptographic secure element that enables the implementation of various security solutions underlying multiple technology applications and services.
From a technical point of view, the Secure Microchip ensures the logical and physical security of cryptographic operations underlying the security architectures of any computer system dealing with sensitive information.
It is suitable for the raising of security measures derived from the cryptographic domain, in terms of confidentiality, integrity, and authentication, both in the cyber and physical security domains.
Applications for the Secure Microchip
As mentioned, the microprocessor is thought to be used in a variety of contexts, civilian, military, industrial, and in the protection of critical infrastructure such as railroad tracks, power grids, water networks, and dams.
These are then joined by the increasingly popular Internet of Things contexts, starting with smart cities with data protection of sensors or cameras in urban and suburban areas.
In the industrial sector, the Secure Microchip protects the entire production cycle through the integration of a sophisticated cryptographic system with the most advanced cybersecurity features, guaranteeing the security of the dialogue between apparatuses (machine to machine).
The microprocessor will also represent a concrete answer to the security needs of small and medium-sized enterprises and for all those entities that will soon have to equip themselves with more robust systems or adapt to the stringent cybersecurity requirements contained in the Cyber Resilience Act and EU Directives NIS2 and CER.
The Secure Microchip represents an important step for the international promotion of made-in-Italy in the strategic semiconductor industry, in line with the choices Italy and the European Union are making to strengthen the continental industrial ecosystem.
For authentication systems, the microprocessor can generate encryption tokens to securely access from mobile devices and PCs to data and services in the cloud, such as business or public utility applications.
The Secure Microchip can also be integrated into servers, in case the services and IT infrastructure are in a private cloud context. Indeed, use cases include public administration services such as digital identity or financial and home banking systems.
With this project, the TIM Group is providing its innovation and research expertise to increase the national supply of cybersecurity technologies, contributing to the country’s digital development.