Chip to Cloud, day 1: Now, cloud TSM

A presentation by Thian Yee, from Cassis (a Safran Morpho company). TSMs are moving from 1-1 relationships to n-n relationships. The challenges they face are related to customer experience, which must be very simple and consistent; flexibility and scalability, as demand is very variable, depending on product launches, with unsustainable peak demand; and finally, regulatory requirements, time-to-market and cost.

Cassis is now trying to offer TaaS (TSM as a service, of course), where the TSM performs the essential processing, and also streamlines it, for instance by leaving the most sensitive data at the bank, and only sending crypto requests to the bank.

In the future, they envision many TSMs in the cloud, where collaboration will be made easier. Of course, there are things to consider to make that happen, including of course some action on regulatory bodies, who maynnot like this move to an uncontrolled cloud.

I have always thought that this kind of activity was difficult today, because cloud is about elasticity, and Hardware Security Modules (typically used by TSMs to store sensitive data) are not all that elastic. Of course, proposing to keep the sensitive data on the bank’s server is one way to address that, but it also shifts some responsibility from the TSM back to its customer, which is a bit strange.

Nevertheless, I get this feeling that a TSM cloud needs to be really secure. This would eiher mean that someone builds a TSM cloud and shares it with others (Gemalto, do you want to be the Amazon of TSMs?), or that someone builds a cloud for secure applications, possibly beyond TSM. I am sure that there are other reasons to use a secure cloud, so this may be the way. Anyway, this is interesting to follow, because leveraging the cloud’s properties will give a competitive edge to any TSM.

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