A Glance at Mobile Security: The Trusted Execution Environment

Entrust

As the global workforce continues to mobilize, many processes that were once typically run from applications based on an internal server are now conducted with remote devices. IT executives, therefore, must count on such devices to provide adequate protection against any malicious activity that might interfere with critical business processes.

When it comes to mobile security, many IT executives are still in the dark about the safety of the devices that they use.  A recent Ponemon’s poll indicates that 51 percent of respondents believe that their company has experienced a data breach related to the insecurity of remote devices. Even more alarming, 23 percent were not even sure if their organization has been the victim of a mobile breach or not.

In part two of this three-part series, we will look at an evolving method of data protection companies use to protect the information they release onto mobile devices — the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE).

Trusted Execution Environment

A great way to understand how a TEE functions is to think of it like a bank. Just like a bank will lock private information in separate accounts behind a locked vault, a TEE has segregated compartments within an isolated structure that helps prevent tampering from the hands of a third party.

The TEE functions similarly to the secure element in the physical sense, in that it is a segregated structure within the hardware of an electronic device.

The TEE, however, takes security to the next level by offering additional protection for trusted applications and information within an isolated, cryptographic electronic structure. It is a hybrid approach that utilizes both hardware and software to protect data.

While a secure element requires no industry standards for the fact that is often constructed by several different companies all in competition for ownership of the chip, a TEE uses a set of industry standards for the purpose of governing large numbers of remote devices at a single time. These standards oversee the operations of key management, end-to-end security and lifecycle application.

Check back soon for our final installation of this series.

Entrust
Entrust

Entrust provides identity-based security solutions that empower enterprises, consumers, citizens and websites in more than 5,000 organizations spanning 85 countries. Entrust's identity-based approach offers the right balance between affordability, expertise and service. With more than 125 patents granted and pending, these world-class solutions include strong authentication, physical and logical access, credentialing, mobile security, fraud detection, digital certificates, SSL and PKI.

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