Vulnerability-tolerant secure architectures

Todd Austin, Valeria Bertacco, Baris Kasikci, Sharad Malik, Mohit Tiwari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Today, secure systems are built by identifying potential vulnerabilities and then adding protections to thwart the associated attacks. Unfortunately, the complexity of today's systems makes it impossible to prove that all attacks are stopped, so clever attackers find a way around even the most carefully designed protections. In this article, we take a sobering look at the state of secure system design, and ask ourselves why the "security arms race" never ends? The answer lies in our inability to develop adequate security verification technologies. We then examine an advanced defensive system in nature - the human immune system - and we discover that it does not remove vulnerabilities, rather it adds offensive measures to protect the body when its vulnerabilities are penetrated We close the article with brief speculation on how the human immune system could inspire more capable secure system designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2018 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, ICCAD 2018 - Digest of Technical Papers
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781450359504
StatePublished - Nov 5 2018
Event37th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, ICCAD 2018 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2018Nov 8 2018

Publication series

NameIEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, Digest of Technical Papers, ICCAD
ISSN (Print)1092-3152


Other37th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, ICCAD 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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