Cyber Security

Platform Security Architecture and its Tools | A Quick Guide

Navdeep Singh Gill | 03 October 2022


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Introduction to Platform Security

The design, technologies, and processes that assure the security of a computing platform are referred to as platform security. The architecture, tools, and processes that encrypt a computing platform's hardware, software, network, and services maintain its security. It uses packaged and unified security software, methods, and processes to protect the computer platform's hardware, software, network, and services.

Bundled/unified security software, systems, and processes in computing platform security make the platform's hardware, software, network, and software as safe as feasible. Its software are:

  • Phrases are used to describe bundled/unified security systems.
  • Processes that assure the security of a computing environment.
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A security model protects a complete platform and safeguards all of the software and devices on that platform, eliminating the need for special or multiple security measures for distinct programs on the system. Platform-level security streamlines the security process for IT and developers. When the security is breached, however, the entire platform becomes vulnerable. A trustworthy Platform Module is a type of platform security aimed to safeguard a whole component stack.

What are the different types of Platform Security?

It is a very critical part of its development and maintenance. Having the Platform fortified from within is a vital step indeed. It may include many inner steps like having security services from web hosts, security plugins, strict protocols for user management(regular password changes, ) other end-points, etc. These are just one of the many layers of security essential for any Platform to be built and maintained efficiently.

Below are the top 10 types of security standards that any Platform requires

  1. Computer Antivirus
  2. Anti-Spyware Software
  3. Network Security
  4. Firewalls
  5. Password Managers
  6. Encryption Software
  7. Log Management Software
  8. Bot Mitigation
  9. Monitoring Tool
  10. Intrusion Prevention Software
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Requirement of Platform Security Architecture(PSA)

The Platform Security Architecture (PSA) is a security framework for trillions of networked devices. It comprises a comprehensive set of deliverables, including documentation for Threat Models and Security Analyses, hardware and firmware architecture standards, APIs and an API test suite, and PSA Certified, an independent security review and certification method. With an open-source reference implementation, you can ensure that all connected devices have the appropriate level of security. PSA incorporates and expands on industry best practices. It's aimed at everyone in the supply chain, from semiconductor designers and device developers to cloud and network infrastructure providers and software vendors. The arm is leading the ecosystem in its quest to defend the linked world alongside our partners. Platform Security Architecture (PSA) was created to simplify security concepts and designs.

The following are the goals of the PSA framework, which will make billions of devices safer:

  • Simplify the process of assessing IoT devices for compliance with safety regulations.
  • Reduce software development costs and complexity for ecosystem partners by allowing reuse, improving interoperability, and reducing API fragmentation.

By utilizing the primitives provided by the PSA, SoC designers can reduce safety and complexity costs by creating the Safety Model.

The following requirements must be completed to attain the above goals:

  • Create a framework for certifying and evaluating an Arm-based SoC or device.
  • Identify the most critical security elements.
  • Define a security paradigm for a sandbox.
  • Define a framework for third-party software manufacturers to implement security functionalities.
  • Define the essential, safe hardware platform for the Internet of Things.
  • For IoT devices, provide a reliable and open-source reference implementation (similar to Trusted Firmware)
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What are the stages in Platform Security Architecture?

It provides a framework for safeguarding networked devices. It offers a step-by-step guide to incorporating the appropriate device security level, lowering data reliability risks, and allowing businesses to experiment with new ideas to reap the benefits of digital transformation.
The PSA was established to ensure security is built into a gadget.
Analyze, architect, implement, and certify are the four primary Platform Security Architecture (PSA) processes.

Analysis stage

For three popular IoT use scenarios, the analyze stage provides freely available examples of Threat Models and Security Analyses (TMSA). This stage aims to assess the dangers that could compromise your device and develop a set of security needs based on the risks.

 Architect stage

The architect stage includes a set of open-source hardware and firmware specs that you may use to build the appropriate security features for your device. The PSA Security Model (PSA-SM), Trusted Boot Firmware Update (TBFU), Trusted Base System Architecture (TBSA), and PSA Firmware Framework are among the requirements (PSA-FF). The PSA Security Model guides the use of the other PSA specifications by providing crucial language and techniques for PSA.

Implementation stage

An open-source firmware reference implementation, APIs, and an API test suite are available in the implementation stage. These APIs provide a uniform interface to the underlying Root of Trust hardware and give developers a trusted code base that complies with PSA criteria.

In addition, three sets of PSA APIs provide application interoperability across diverse device Root of Trust hardware implementations. PSA Functional Developer APIs for RTOS and software developers, PSA Firmware Framework APIs for security experts, and TBSA APIs for semiconductor makers are only a few examples.

PSA Certified stage

The PSA Certified stage, established by Arm and its security partners, is an independent review and certification method. PSA Functional API Certification and PSA Certified are the two main areas of the system. PSA Functional API Certification uses an API test suite to ensure that software uses PSA APIs correctly. PSA Certified includes three levels of assurance and robustness testing, allowing device makers to select solutions most suited to their needs.

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What are the major tools?

Let's look at some of the majorly significant Security tools used in the current market.

Arxan Application Protection

This utility can be used to protect Runtime Applications (RASP). Arxan Application Protection, especially useful for mobile apps, protects against reverse engineering and code tampering.

Black Duck from Synopsys

During application development, Black Duck automates open-source security and license compliance. It may detect, monitor, correct, and manage your open-source apps. Other app security vendors, such as Coverity and Codenomicon, have been acquired by Synopsys.

Burp Suite from PortSwigger

BSuite is a prominent penetration testing tool. All tools use a typical architecture to handle and display HTTP messages, persistence, authentication, proxies, logging, and alerting. More excellent automatic and manual testing tools and options for connectivity with many significant frameworks like Jenkins and the availability of a fully-documented REST API are available in the commercial editions.

CA/Veracode App Security Platform

Veracode is a tool that provides a pretty comprehensive set of security testing tools and services for threat mitigation housed on a single platform. It identifies flaws and estimates hazards in development and production environments. The product has a large following and has been around for a long time. Hundreds of thousands of different apps have been tested with it. Veracode can be used for small and big installations, and users commonly cite its superior ease of use.

Fortify from MicroFocus

Fortify's integrated development, and testing platform is available in SaaS and on-premise editions. It also has mobile versions and allows constant app monitoring. Despite the multiple corporate overseers, it comes to MicroFocus from the HPE software division, which has a lengthy history and substantial installed base. Fortify is also compatible with the Eclipse IDE and Visual Studio.

AppScan by IBM Security

Security AppScan is part of IBM's extensive application security product range. Source, Standard, and Enterprise are the three versions available. The software is renowned for its ability to import data from human code reviews, penetration testing, and competitors' software vulnerability scanners in several formats. For scanning iOS and Android apps, there are different mobile versions.

Rogue Wave's Klocwork

Static application scanning, continuous code integration, and a code architecture visualization tool are among the features offered by Klocwork. It has built-in security checking tools for CERT, CWE, and OWASP standards. It can detect code injections, cross-site scripting, memory leaks, and other potentially dangerous programming techniques.

Prevoty from Imperva

Another tool used for Runtime Application Self-Protection is Prevoty (RASP). It protects against code tampering and reverses engineering, which is especially important for mobile apps.


It is a set of tools for automating the testing of web applications and their functionality across various browser versions. For Selenium scripts, these come with their integrated development environment. It works as a browser extension and allows you to record, edit, debug tests, and record and playback scripts. Selenium offers many third-party plug-ins to detect security problems in mobile and web browsers.

Zed Attack Proxy from OWASP

OWASP is also responsible for Zed Attack. The tool results from a big open-source community's efforts and is intended to assist you in automatically detecting security flaws in your web apps as you develop them. Zed Attack sits in the middle of your app and a browser, intercepting web traffic and scanning it for flaws.

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What is the future of it?

All Application security tools are intended to safeguard software applications against external attacks during their entire lifecycle. Bad actors can occasionally exploit vulnerabilities in enterprise programs. This group of solutions aims to safeguard many applications from data theft and malicious intent. Internal employees, partners, and customers can use legacy, desktop, cloud, and mobile apps. Modern application security solutions must support many application types while being simple to use and deploy.

The focus of products in this category is safeguarding systems at the application layer rather than protecting attack surfaces like networks. Aside from that, application security encompasses a wide range of procedures. The two most common functions are testing or programs for vulnerabilities and remediating risks once they've been detected. Some items will serve both purposes, but most will focus on one. Developing a security profile for each application that identifies and prioritizes potential threats and documenting steps to mitigate hostile or unplanned events can also help improve application security.


Businesses are changing how they do business by implementing new technology to innovate and uncover new opportunities. This digital transformation is driven by connected devices, which generate data and insights that affect essential choices.
Because the value of all this new data depends on its reliability, security is one of the most severe risks to digital transformation.


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