An embedded system is a computing machine that is generally a component of some larger product, and its purpose is narrowly focused on supporting that product. One can say that it is a computing machine dedicated to a specific purpose. Embedded systems cover a large range of computer systems from ultra-small computer-based devices to large systems monitoring and controlling complex processes. Today, 99% of all computing systems belong to embedded systems. Embedded systems are ubiquitous and have encompassed most aspects of modern life.
Every week millions of tiny computer chips are manufactured and find their way into our everyday products. In the US, homes have an average of 30 to 40 microprocessors or microcontrollers each. Embedded Systems is one of the most dynamic, fast growing areas in industry. Embedded systems design addresses the challenges of hardware and software co-design.
The area of Embedded Systems Design has undergone tremendous growth in recent years. A major contributor of this growth has been the addition of networking technologies, database management systems, and operating systems to embedded systems. Nowadays, security in one form or another is a requirement for an increasing number of embedded systems.
Embedded systems security is an emerging field in embedded systems technology. More than thirty years of security research indicates that it is unfeasible to add security as an addition to an existing embedded system design. Thus, it has to be built in by the original embedded system designers. However, embedded security is a subject area that is seldom taught in undergraduate academic programs. In some institutions, security is taught as a separate subject and students must map concepts onto embedded systems on their own. This can be challenging because general security courses ignore memory and processor constraints as well as other embedded-specific concerns.
A quality education requires exposing students to the current edge of research and technology. To ensure that student projects are complementary to industrial development, educators must continually introduce emerging techniques, technology, practices, and applications into their curriculum. The field of embedded systems security is growing rapidly and has captured the interest of various sectors. The increasing popularity of embedded systems security has motivated universities to provide students with a foundation in the area. It is crucial that the emerging field of embedded systems security be integrated into the computer engineering curriculum. This paper studies the different approaches that are used by different institutions of higher education around the world to integrate embedded systems security concepts into their curriculum.
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