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ETSI standardizes new Secure Platform to address IoT, 5G, and security-sensitive sectors

November 2019 by Marc Jacob

Trust and privacy together with cost and flexibility are key to security solutions for many applications in today’s digital world. To address this challenge, ETSI Technical Committee Smart Card Platform, who standardized the former generations of SIM cards, has been working on a brand-new security platform called Smart Secure Platform (SSP). The ETSI committee is pleased to unveil the first three technical specifications to launch this new security platform.

The ETSI Smart Secure Platform offers an open platform for multiple applications with various physical interfaces and form factors. The new flexible file system and built-in capabilities support several authentication methods, as well as features defined for a UICC – the current security platform used, for instance, for the SIM card – such as a toolkit or a contactless interface. SSP is a highly secure, scalable, thus cost-efficient solution optimized to fit many requirements, from IoT applications to complex solutions, hosting several applications such as banking and payment, ID management and access to mobile networks. Furthermore, the SSP is backwards compatible with the UICC.

The three specifications cover the general technical characteristics of the Smart Secure Platform with ETSI TS 103 666 1, the integration of the Secure Element into a System on Chip (SoC) solution in ETSI TS 103 666 2 and, as the first protocol between the Smart Secure Platform and the outside world, the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), which is specified in ETSI TS 103 713. Further specifications such as the embedded and the removable Smart Secure Platform as well as the I2C interface will follow in due course.

The work has been achieved by a fruitful co-operation of leading players in the field of mobile communications, smart cards and secure ICs, taking into account results and suggestions by various industry bodies. Though the first implementations are expected to be in the fields of IoT and 5G, the Smart Secure Platform is designed in such a way that other industry sectors such as banking, transport and ID as well as interested parties can easily adapt the SSP to serve as a security platform for their own need.

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