Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NIST IR 8320D (Initial Public Draft)

Hardware-Enabled Security: Hardware-Based Confidential Computing

Date Published: February 23, 2023
Comments Due: April 10, 2023 (public comment period is CLOSED)
Email Questions to:


Michael Bartock (NIST), Murugiah Souppaya (NIST), Jerry Wheeler (Intel), Timothy Knoll (Intel), Muthukkumaran Ramalingam (AMI), Stefano Righi (AMI)


NISTIR 8320D is the latest in a series of reports on hardware-enabled security techniques and technologies.

Organizations employ a growing volume of machine identities, often numbering in the thousands or millions per organization. Machine identities, such as secret cryptographic keys, can be used to identify which policies need to be enforced for each machine. Centralized management of machine identities helps streamline policy implementation across devices, workloads, and environments. However, the lack of protection for sensitive data in use (e.g., machine identities in memory) puts it at risk.

This report presents an effective approach for overcoming security challenges associated with creating, managing, and protecting machine identities throughout their lifecycle. It describes a proof-of-concept implementation, a prototype, that addresses those challenges by using hardware-based confidential computing. The report is intended to be a blueprint or template that the general security community can use to validate and utilize the described implementation.

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



confidential computing; cryptographic key; hardware-enabled security; hardware security module (HSM); machine identity; machine identity management; trusted execution environment (TEE)
Control Families

Identification and Authentication; System and Communications Protection


Download URL

Supplemental Material:
Project homepage

Publication Parts:
IR 8320
IR 8320A
IR 8320B
IR 8320C

Document History:
02/23/23: IR 8320D (Draft)


Security and Privacy

identity & access management, key management, roots of trust, zero trust