Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) has been chosen by Vodafone Germany to develop innovative security solutions based on standard SIM cards. This innovative approach makes life easier for users of smartphones and laptops because it eliminates the need for additional hardware such as smartcards, tokens, or card readers to secure access to cloud services.
Vodafone’s business and public sector customers – who require sophisticated IT security – are one of the groups that stand to benefit most from this new solution. The platform created by G&D will be used for a variety of applications, including additional security for mobile access to intranet and cloud services, full encryption of e-mail and voice communication, and protection of the data stored on mobile devices.
G&D’s role in the joint project includes delivery of an authentication application present on the SIM cards, as well as the cloud-based authentication service that is run from the Vodafone computer center. The solution works by installing the authentication application in a specially protected part of the SIM card which interacts with cloud-based functions. This eliminates the need for any additional security hardware.
To gain access to their company network, users are simply required to enter their password when requested by the authentication service. Another option is to use one-time passwords sent by SMS. Remote access functions are available to the IT departments of the companies and local authorities concerned, making it easy for them to manage access by specific users to the applications and devices available.
In addition to controlling access to company networks, the platform enables additional encryption of voice, e-mail, and SMS communication between users. Other features include the use of digital signatures and the encryption of data stored on the mobile device – a feature that is critical if a device is lost or stolen.
Michael Kuemmerle, Group Executive – Mobile Security at G&D summarizes the key benefits: “Security has an increasingly important role to play in the digital world. The new SIM-based solution which Vodafone is implementing is one way we are securing the mobile future. Our focus is on creating user-friendly, cost-effective applications which meet our customers’ needs, in this case without having to introduce additional security hardware.”
Jan Geldmacher, CCO of Vodafone Germany’s Enterprise Business Unit for corporate customers, is equally pleased with the partnership: “Security is founded on trust. Successfully launching innovative technologies to open up the digital world means keeping people firmly in focus – after all, you will only accept a new technology if you trust it. Giesecke & Devrient is the ideal partner for us here. The government trusts them to print banknotes and passports, so they couldn’t be more reliable.”
Vodafone and Giesecke & Devrient will be demonstrating their new solution platform and some example applications live at CeBIT 2012 at the Vodafone booth in pavilion 32. The commercial launch of the corresponding Vodafone services is scheduled to begin in mid-2012.
- Martina Rauch Appointed Head of Corporate Communications at Giesecke & Devrient (silicontrust.wordpress.com)