What I’m finding interesting at the moment is the overlap of how solving a security issue in one industry, opens doors for re-using that technology elsewhere. And it’s all about identity.

Making the link
A friend of mine has an NFC controlled door lock. Instead of using a fob, he programmed the door to open when he presented his credit card. Admittedly not a great solution from a security perspective, it is nonetheless very convenient.

This illustrates two things.

  1. People want to simplify their lives and have as few things on them as possible.
  2. The credit card acts as an identity in a commerce transaction but it can also act as an identity in another context. And this possibility isn’t limited to just credit cards.

Evolving technologies
NFC creates a new way for mobile phones to be used for security applications. It goes beyond the traditional means of either embedded security on the device itself on within a SIM. Payments, is where the impact is being felt first.

In the same way the NFC credit card could be used to open a door, the same security used to protect the mobile payments keys could be repurposed to protect the keys that are used in other walks of life.

Opening many doors
With that in mind, the possibilities are almost endless. Electronic keys could be used to log into your personal email account, into your energy management system or even replace your travel card with an application running on your mobile phone.

And for pay-TV operators, this could be for logins for services or WiFi, validating access to video content and even extending this their home automation offering.

Securing the key
It comes down to being able to validate that the device is in use at the time, that it’s not malware generating a positive response. It’s about ensuring you are you! Solving this so called linking issue makes it easier to use electronic keys in different ways; creating new business opportunities.

Put simply, anytime a person needs to securely identify themselves – it’s possible with an electronic key!

Benefits all round
In the past, a company could launch a mobile application, but it wouldn’t be secure. Only by working with the device manufacturer – e.g. Samsung, would the security be added. This adds time and money to the process. But it doesn’t have to be that way in the future. It is possible to launch an application which can be locked down straight away. No need to have the extra steps – increasing return on investment and time to market.

Consumers benefit too. With the application being linked directly to the individual, companies are able to offer relevant value added services; strengthening the relationship with their users. And like my friend, consumers can simplify their life.

Being able to secure and protect a person’s identity is the key to the future!