Business

Trustonic to provide security for smart connected devices

Trustonic is coming out of stealth today as a provider of security systems for smart connected devices. It aims to embed security deep into the hardware, software and services of gadgets from the top to bottom.

The company is creating a global trusted hardware platform with security designed into the very heart of semiconductor chips that provide the computing power for products and services. By making systems more trustworthy, Trustronic believes it can enable a new wave of electronic commerce, from entertainment viewing on any device to mobile and enterprise applications. With the technology, consumers should be able to enjoy a wider variety of entertainment on mobile devices that will be more secure than they are today.

By embedding the technology in chips, Trustonic says it can rise above “bolt-on security” measures. The new Cambridge, England-based company was formed by ARM, the designer of low-power processors; Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), a Munich-based company that creates payment systems; and Gemalto, a Dutch digital security company that creates apps and secure personal devices such as smart cards.

Trustonic wants to enable companies to create secure systems for companies serving the enterprise, commerce, payments and entertainment. Its partners include 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Cisco, Discretix, Good Technology, Inside Secure, Irdeto, MasterCard, Nvidia, Samsung Electronics, Sprint, Symantec, and Wave Systems.

Ben Cade, chief executive of Trustonic, said, “Trustonic builds upon decades of experience between ARM, Gemalto and G&D in developing secure technology for connected devices. The launch of Trustonic marks a turning point in our connected world. It will enable us to trust our smart connected devices to protect us as they deliver essential services and innovative user experiences.”

The company will focus on the development of a GlobalPlatform compliant Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), which will offer a common security standard for connected devices. The TEE will be built upon ARM TrustZone technology used in today’s low-power microprocessors, which are used in smartphones and tablets. It will be combined with security software and management systems contributed by Gemalto and G&D. Services that require high trust in people’s connected devices can gain access to the TEE on demand.

The goal is to create a platform that starts out secure, from the chip hardware on up through the software and services. Consumers will be able to enjoy content on any screen and execute payments more safely and with faster speed. If all goes as planned, service providers will be able to trust the devices being used by consumers — something that they can’t always do today. Network operators will be able to offer new services such as enterprise security, payment services, and convergent service charging, to existing contracts. Gadget makers will be able protect sensitive data such as passcodes, fingerprints and certificates. And chip makers will be able to embed security in the core of their chips.

Trustonic says it uses an open business model, allowing device makers to incorporate its security technology into their own products while enabling service providers to activate these hardware-based security measures. Executives at the team include Jon Geater, chief technology officer; Olivier Leger, executive vice president of sales and marketing; Stephan Spitz, executive vice president of engineering; and Chris Jones, chief operating officer. Cade is a former executive of ARM, which licenses the mobile processor architecture used in billions of devices.

The company was founded earlier this year.


Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile app analytics. Fill out our 5-minute survey, and we'll share the data with you.