Hardware security encompasses a variety of functions applicable to different aspects of security. In technology, “security” is a broad concept that consists of multiple disparate and complementary facets. Some facets are privacy (information is protected from being accessed by unauthorized third parties), attestation (actions and claims made by a device are verified as legitimate), authentication (data from a device is verified as actually coming from that device), and protection against tampering either by software (hacking) or physically. This is not an exhaustive list.
Hardware support for security offers advantages over pure software solutions. It generally cannot be modified (it is fixed), and it is harder to attack. It is also faster than software running on a CPU or MCU, which is an advantage for certain complex, time-consuming security functions. Many vendors offer hardware security intellectual property (IP) that can be incorporated into a company’s system or system-on-a-chip (SoC) to provide security functions or speed them up.