Computer security should be tackled from the level of individual electronic components up to whole-machine methods of safeguarding access to data, it is suggested.
A report from EUREKA, a European research and development platform, notes the potential for IT systems to be protected at all levels, right down to the electronic components from which they are built.
The principle is known as Trusted Secure Computing (TSC) and is an initiative being led by the MEDEA+ project to help identify components that can safeguard multimedia devices, communications and computing.
Already Trusted Processor Modules - one category within TSC - are being used in 90 per cent of laptop systems, EUREKA says, with plans to market the technology to the US and Asia markets.
The project's leader, Jean-Pierre Tual, says: "Protection mechanisms must be present in all system layers, from basic hardware to the basic input-output system and including the operating system."