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NISTIR 8320A (Draft)

Hardware-Enabled Security: Container Platform Security Prototype

Date Published: December 2020
Comments Due: January 29, 2021 (public comment period is CLOSED)
Email Questions to: hwsec@nist.gov


Michael Bartock (NIST), Murugiah Souppaya (NIST), Jerry Wheeler (Intel), Timothy Knoll (Intel), Uttam Shetty (Intel), Ryan Savino (Intel), Joseprabu Inbaraj (AMI), Stefano Righi (AMI), Karen Scarfone (Scarfone Cybersecurity)


In today’s cloud data centers and edge computing, attack surfaces have significantly increased, hacking has become industrialized, and most security control implementations are not coherent or consistent. The foundation of any data center or edge computing security strategy should be securing the platform on which data and workloads will be executed and accessed. The physical platform represents the first layer for any layered security approach and provides the initial protections to help ensure that higher-layer security controls can be trusted.

This report explains an approach based on hardware-enabled security techniques and technologies for safeguarding container deployments in multi-tenant cloud environments. It also describes a proof-of-concept implementation of the approach—a prototype—that is intended to be a blueprint or template for the general security community.

We welcome your comments and feedback.

NOTE: A call for patent claims is included on page iii of this draft. For additional information, see the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) Patent Policy--Inclusion of Patents in ITL Publications.



container; hardware-enabled security; hardware root of trust; platform security; trusted compute pool; virtualization
Control Families

None selected


NISTIR 8320A (Draft) (DOI)
Local Download

Supplemental Material:
Trusted Cloud projects (web)

Document History:
12/07/20: NISTIR 8320A (Draft)
06/17/21: NISTIR 8320A (Final)


Security and Privacy
roots of trust

cloud & virtualization; hardware; servers