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This month GlobalPlatform speaks with Stephanie El Rhomri, Chair of the GlobalPlatform TEE Compliance Working Group and New Services Marketing Manager at FIME. Stephanie outlines the priorities of the TEE Compliance Working Group and highlights the benefits of the technology for the wider ecosystem.

Why is GlobalPlatform involved in this area of mobile security?

Work to standardize the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) is a new industry focus and is a logical continuation of GlobalPlatform's standardization work in relation to the secure element (SE). From a mobile contactless services perspective, it is important to build a complete secure channel from trusted service managers, right through to the SE – a function for which the TEE is essential.

Until now, the technology has been proprietary. GlobalPlatform has therefore identified the need for standardization to ensure interoperability across the ecosystem which, in turn, will lead to market confidence in the technology as well as reducing development costs and time to market.

Additionally, as more applications demanding greater levels of security are deployed it is important to be able to ensure security. The TEE offers a secure 'middle ground' between the high protection of the SE and the low protection of the Rich OS.

What are the priorities of the working group?

The working group will look to develop a test suite and test tools for the GlobalPlatform Client API Specification and the Internal API Specification. Through this work we will demonstrate to the ecosystem that GlobalPlatform not only provides specifications but also qualifies products, encouraging market stability and promoting open standards.

Our initial focus will be on the Android OS followed quickly by the qualification of test tools to support different platforms.

How will the TEE Compliance Program benefit the participating companies?

Complying with GlobalPlatform's TEE specifications will enable service providers (SP) to design products independent of the TEE; developing one application to satisfy the needs of multiple TEE providers where they once had to develop as many versions as there are proprietary solutions. The program will also qualify test tools that TEE providers can purchase in order to test their products throughout the research and development stages. This continuous testing will assist the process, bolstering market reliability and confidence.

This next generation of technology provides test laboratories and test tool providers with new challenges in ensuring market consistency and interoperability.

Long-term, the GlobalPlatform TEE Compliance Program will enable standards bodies operating in specific markets to rely upon its state of the art testing – much in the same way that EMVCo endorsed the GlobalPlatform Secure Element Compliance Program earlier this year.