Microsoft has unveiled Pluton, a new security chip designed to improve the security of Windows PCs.
As threats from hackers and bad actors increase, and as more companies rely on remote work and cloud-based technologies, companies are working harder than ever to secure devices and systems. Microsoft’s latest announcement is a big step in that direction.
The company has announced its new security chip, Pluton, that applies lessons from Xbox and Azure Sphere, bringing them to the Windows PC. The new chip was designed in cooperation with AMD, Intel and Qualcomm.
This chip-to-cloud security technology, pioneered in Xbox and Azure Sphere, will bring even more security advancements to future Windows PCs and signals the beginning of a journey with ecosystem and OEM partners.
The new chip is a substantial improvement over the existing Trusted Platform Module (TPM). Because the TPM is a separate hardware component, hackers have been targeting communication between the TPM and the CPU. Pluton addresses that by being integrated directly into the CPU.
The Pluton design removes the potential for that communication channel to be attacked by building security directly into the CPU. Windows PCs using the Pluton architecture will first emulate a TPM that works with the existing TPM specifications and APIs, which will allow customers to immediately benefit from enhanced security for Windows features that rely on TPMs like BitLocker and System Guard. Windows devices with Pluton will use the Pluton security processor to protect credentials, user identities, encryption keys, and personal data. None of this information can be removed from Pluton even if an attacker has installed malware or has complete physical possession of the PC.
Pluton promises to be a substantial step toward increased security for Windows PCs, and will hopefully see rapid deployment.