From Editor's Desk

Dr. N. Rama Murthy, Addl. Director (Retd.), CAIR (DRDO)

The protection of huge amount of information gathered from the vast amount of data traversing across today’s networked world is a topic of great concern for those involved in information security. Personal information is often shared by people readily without giving a thought on possibility of it being abused. In India, the government agencies also collect alot of data with no guarantee as to its protection. As the author mentions in his article titled ‘Can a Faraday’s Cage in Today’s Digital Age Safeguard Our Privacy?’, India witnesses a high incidence of data breaches as no safe and assured data security practices for both online and offline transactions exist. Worldwide, the current system for data protection is non-standardised with divergent regulatory approaches being followed by many countries. The author concludes that there is a need for raising awareness among those interacting with modern day digital technologies.

Designing a secure device is a challenge because security threats can arise in multiple layers. Vulnerabilities can arise due to bad software design, while others may be created by the use of unsafe programming languages. A significant portion of these vulnerabilities stem from illegal use of memory pointers; for instance, using a memory pointer beyond its permissible memory range.

In their paper titled “Security in Shakti” the author discusses how various aspects have been addressed in the implementation of a processor named Shakti. The paper shows how software vulnerabilities arising due to illegal use of memory can be addressed by hardware enhancements and how to make inferring secrets from the side-channel traces difficult. It also explains how in the hardware, power attacks can be mitigated by obfuscating the data in data path, thus breaking the correlation with power consumption. The authors conclude that outside the processor, security measures such as trusted boot and physically unclonable functions would further secure the processor.

In their survey paper titled ‘Fronthaul Design in Cloud Radio Access Networks: A Survey’, exhaustive literature is presented by the authors on the advantages offered by C-RAN architecture. Traditional RAN has drawbacks such as lack of resource sharing and inefficient utilization of the BS as it is working all the time irrespective of load conditions, etc. They bring out the differences between traditional RAN and C-RAN architecture. To get maximum advantages, different C-RAN architectures and Fronthaul architectures were proposed. Fronthaul compression is crucial for bringing sustainability to C-RAN architecture. The authors conclude that, there is a need for the design of more robust network information theoretic compression techniques to make C-RAN a feasible network architecture.

Finally, in continuation of a series of tutorial articles on Experiential learning, the authors delve into socket programming, which is at the heart of managing TCP connections, and examine the key role that it plays in delivering high performance.

I am sure that all our readers would find the four articles in this issue very useful, interesting and worth reading.

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful year ahead.