NFC: challenges and opportunities for business
By Jon Callas, CTO, Entrust
Near-field communication (NFC) technology bridges the physical and digital worlds, in a world where convenience is key, and users expect to be able to action tasks at the touch of a button.
In the future, NFC will prove critical to interconnecting the “internet of things” – appliances, cars, houses, TVs and mobile devices. However there are various security challengers to consider, for example when your phone makes contact with another device and they start talking, how does the other device know you meant to tap it? On the other hand, given that NFC brings devices closer to...
...one another, could it in fact be used as means to tighten security?
NFC has already made its way into our lives, with applications such as mobile payments, public transportation, medical record access and event ticketing, being tested in some cities. A more common, everyday usage is swiping an Oyster card against a machine in a tube station. So, how does it work? In the same way that Wi-Fi is a wireless network cable, NFC is a wireless protocol for smart cards; a general-purpose, short-range communications protocol. It allows two devices that are very close together, to “talk” over a short-range wireless link.
In the world of mobility, NFC gives users added functionality and ease of use, and pretty much every mobile vendor is rolling out plans for NFC-enabled devices. ABI Research predicts that by 2016, 552 million handsets will have NFC embedded, meaning that it’s unlikely we’ll even be able to buy a mobile phone without NFC in the near future. With the rise of consumerisation, many NFC pilot schemes are consumer facing, so if mobile vendors building NFC technology want it to take off, they know they will need to really focus on end user requirements. If ABI’s... continued on page two >