Trusted Execution Environment 101: A Primer

Covershot — Trusted Execution Environment 101: A PrimerThis 24-page white paper provides executives with a through overview of the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), a combined software and hardware-based security solution for mobile and connected devices that supports a wide range of use cases such as payment apps, content protection, corporate applications, and loyalty.

The paper starts with an overview and history of TEE technology before moving onto the architecture and principles underpinning its operation, including how it securely connects to peripherals such as screens and biometric sensors and how it can host multiple applications.

The primer then goes on to cover multitrust TEE; the five basic security principles TEE’s must adhere to; the roles of the ‘rich’ (device) operating system, secure element and TEE; and use cases and implementation examples including mobile payments, identity and credentials, IoT and content protection.

There’s also a detailed look at the challenges faced by some TEE implementations, and the work that is being done to mitigate them. A section on mobile implementation considerations then outlines the steps involved in developing and managing a TEE-based solution.

The paper concludes with a section that makes the case that TEEs offer a fast, easily deployable security platform as increasing numbers and types of devices are processing sensitive data and points out “while use of a secure element undoubtedly provides a higher form of security, modern devices require more speed, memory, and cost effectiveness than use of an SE can offer.”

‘Trusted Execution Environment 101: A Primer’ has been produced by the Secure Technology Alliance and approved by the NFC World editorial team.

How to access this document

This 24-page white paper is available free of charge to NFC World Knowledge Centre members (PDF format, 790KB).

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This item is part of What's New in Payments.