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Giesecke & Devrient, ARM Target Secure Mobile Platforms

With the rapid increase in mobile technology, security concerns also increase and need to be addressed.
With this in mind, ARM (News - Alert), which designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, and Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), a specialist in security technology, have announced a partnership to make mobile platforms more secure.
It is said that sensitive applications like online banking and electronic payment are about to become more secure, as transactions will be protected from security threats. ARM’s TrustZone technology, which creates a protected area in the chip and G&D’s highly secure Mobicore operating system will work in conjunction to make systems secure. Initially, the two companies will develop a joint prototype.
Dr. Kai Grassie, head of the new business division at G&D said, “We will be working with ARM to develop the security architecture for the next generation of mobile phones. This will enable people to access highly valuable services with convenience and security.”
Ian Drew, executive vice president, marketing, ARM was of the opinion that as ARM TrustZone technology was already being deployed in smartphones, any collaboration with G&D would only catalyze the process of securing transactions in next-generation mobile devices.
Both companies have been working on innovative security concepts. This is perhaps totally understandable as acceptance of mobile applications linked to monetary transactions will solely rest on the security of the device and background systems involved.
It does seem as if this joint venture of TrustZone and Mobicore will work. Security-sensitive data are initially transferred to the Mobicore high security operating system which is running in the TrustZone protected area of the ARM application processor. When the security sensitive functions are executed, Mobicore retains total control of the secure area of a system-chip. This ensures that the sensititve data entered cannot be manipulated by any malware which may be present on the phone during a monetary transaction.
In an effort to reduce time-to-market for secure embedded system development, ARM is in the process of creating a range of training and architectural service packages which are based around a TrustZone Mobicore reference system.
The first secure system training course based around hardware system integration will be released shortly. Next to follow will be the ARM Active Assist on-site review service package which is based on Mobicore. Many more releases are projected for the future.
Barcelona, which will host the Mobile World Congress later this month, will see ARM and G&D present their joint concepts.

Mini Swamy is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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