What Is a Trusted Computing Base? - dummies

What Is a Trusted Computing Base?

By Lawrence C. Miller, Peter H. Gregory

A Trusted Computing Base (TCB) is the entire complement of protection mechanisms within a computer system (including hardware, firmware, and software) that’s responsible for enforcing a security policy. A security perimeter is the boundary that separates the TCB from the rest of the system.

Access control is the ability to permit or deny the use of an object (a passive entity, such as a system or file) by a subject (an active entity, such as an individual or a process).

A reference monitor is a system component that enforces access controls on an object. Stated another way, a reference monitor is an abstract machine that mediates all access to an object by a subject.

A security kernel is the combination of hardware, firmware, and software elements in a Trusted Computing Base that implements the reference monitor concept. Three requirements of a security kernel are that it must

  • Mediate all access
  • Be protected from modification
  • Be verified as correct