Information security has always been one of the forefront considerations within the enterprise mobile device industry. BlackBerry mobile phone maker Research in Motion (RIM), for example, gained the attention of Wall Street bankers because of the financial industry's need for high levels of data protection and security -- along with the convenience of mobile data use.
While much attention in the mobile industry tends to focus on software-based security -- through detection and preventative applications -- very little seems to be said about the apparent need for embedded mobile device hardware security.
Valued at approximately $430 million in 2012, the mobile device hardware security market will be worth $1.9 billion by 2017, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.
The bulk of the mobile security market is attributed to embedded chip security technology -- such as the ARM TrustZone -- and the other semiconductor company security solutions.
Revenues generated by secure elements for near field communication (NFC) and biometric sensors are also factored into the mix, though they're relatively small compared to embedded chip security. This will change, however, in the next two years.
"The primary drivers for embedded chip security are increasing demand of mobile payment transactions, digital rights management, enterprise protection, and control access to the device," says Joshua Flood, senior analyst, devices, applications & content at ABI Research.
Additionally, semiconductor companies will add further security features onto ARM's TrustZone technology, such as advanced security options for content or platform protection.
Presently, revenues generated from NFC secure elements are a small segment of the mobile device security market. In 2011, only 7 percent of smartphones had NFC capabilities. Nevertheless, an increase in point of sale (POS) transactions, such as purchasing coffee, transportation vouchers, or even cinema tickets, will increase the number of NFC smartphones.
It's estimated that more than 60 smartphone models with NFC capability are available now. Within the next two years, NFC security will account for half of mobile device hardware security revenues.