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To enhance scalability in complex distributed applications that must be trustworthy, high-assurance systems should be developed from a set of composable components and subsystems, each of which is itself suitably trustworthy, within a system architecture that inherently supports facile composability. Composition includes the ability to run software compatibly on different hardware, aided considerably by abstraction, operating systems, and suitable programming languages.
Growing interconnectedness among existing systems results, in effect, in new composite systems at increasingly large scales. Existing hardware, operating system, networking, and application architectures do not adequately account for combined requirements for security, performance, and usability — confounding attempts to build trustworthy systems on them. As a result, the security of a system of systems may be drastically less than that of most of its components.