by Giulio Prisco, May 17, 2018

International Communications Companies Deploy Blockchain-Based Security Solution for Mobile Users

Mobile Security

This month, mobile security solution provider Rivetz and Spanish carrier Telefónica announced an agreement to collaborate on the development of advanced mobile security protocols for blockchain-based transactions and messaging.

The two companies plan to leverage dual encryption, supporting both the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) embedded by multiple device manufacturers and the advanced encryption on SIM cards deployed by Telefónica.

"Trusted computing technologies are not an end by themselves, but are an opportunity to improve mobile users' security, providing a research and innovation framework in the context of cybersecurity," said Sergio de los Santos, head of the Discovery and Innovation Lab at Telefónica’s cyber security unit ElevenPaths, according to the announcement.

Telefónica is one of the largest carriers in the world by market capitalization and number of customers. The company has a global presence, which is especially strong in Spain, Europe and Latin America. 

"Blockchain access and secure messaging are core building blocks to automating the user experience when it comes to digital services," said Steven Sprague, CEO of Rivetz, per the announcement. "We're honored to partner with Telefónica to explore how to fully leverage the embedded cybersecurity technologies of mobile to deliver next-generation data services and business models to enhance the quality of subscriber relationships."

Rivetz is a technology company that provides digital security solutions and services using hardware-based trusted execution technology.

“Rivetz is the gateway for developers to include trusted hardware within their applications,” according to a Rivetz blog post.

The company describes itself as a facilitator, focused on making it simple for developers to use a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE). Since a TEE is designed to be secure and unique to each device, it can be used to identify a personal device with military-grade assurance. According to Rivetz, over 2.5 billion devices already have a TEE.

“By using the TEE that has been designed to hold secrets, we can let people keep track of their devices and let the devices remember credentials, securely,” claims the Rivetz post. “You sign into your device, and your device will sign you into your applications.”

Rivetz is initially focusing on the Android platform, which as of mid-2017 had an 87.7 percent share of global sales to end users. Through a partnership with Trustonic, Rivetz has special access to the TEE inside Android phones with ARM’s TrustZone.

The joint press release emphasized that the global rise of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications requires a decentralized cybersecurity model, and this collaboration will provide state-of-the-art cybersecurity protections by combining advanced network security services, provided by ElevenPaths, with Rivetz's trusted computing and DLT solutions. The project will use split-key encryption across the hardware and the SIM.

Rivetz and Telefónica will use both DLT and trusted computing technology to provide cybersecurity controls and protection to hold multiple cryptocurrencies, assuring that the digital assets and processes are protected within a device's hardware. Later this year, the enhanced solution developed by Rivetz and Telefónica is expected to be integrated into Rivetz's existing application developer solution and made available to selected partners.

The system will also use Rivetz Tokens (RVT), utility crypto-tokens now available on the Bancor network, to enable provable controls for data compliance through DLT.