Trusted Computing Base

What Does Trusted Computing Base Mean?

A trusted computing base (TCB) refers to all of a computer system’s hardware, firmware and software components that combine to provide the system with a secure environment. It enforces security policies to ensure security of the system and its information. System safety is achieved by provisioning methods, like controlling access, requiring authorization to access specific resources, enforcing user authentication, safeguarding anti-malware and backing up data.


Techopedia Explains Trusted Computing Base

As a whole, the TCB’s ability and performance are based on the correctness and relevance of its applied techniques and mechanisms, the safety and protection of those mechanisms to ensure their correctness and the right input of parameters required in security policies. In short, to maintain synergy between components, any hardware or software should only be part of the given TCB if – and only if – it is designed to be part of the mechanisms of that TCB.

Computer systems that do not implement TCB as part of their architectural design are only secured because of external solutions. Moreover, the reasoning behind a computer system’s security depends on the proper understanding of its capabilities and limitations. This means that because a computer with a TCB can do anything that a Von Neumann architecture computer can, there likely will be things that users do, intentionally or unintentionally, to make the system less secure. Thus, the mechanisms in the TCB should take the human security factor into consideration.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…