Snapdragon 855 Becomes the First Mobile Chip to Receive BSI Security Certification

By Bill Toulas / June 27, 2019

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855, which is to be found on most of this year’s flagship phones have received the “Common Criteria EAL-4+” security certification, becoming the first ever mobile SoC (System on Chip) to attain this accolade. The particular seal of approval is considered the gold standard in the field, as the German certification organization (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik) who issues it, is very strict in its evaluation. The relevant statement from Qualcomm was the following:

“Completing the EAL-4+ security certification is a major milestone in our journey to bring smart card levels of security to our Snapdragon customers and users. Use cases that previously required separate security chips will now be fully integrated into Snapdragon 855 powered devices. This certification is a testament to the industry firsts that Snapdragon 855 brings to market and Qualcomm Technologies’ continued leadership in embedded security.”

What this means for the consumers is that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 has received smart card level of security assurance, and so the SoC will be enough on its own to ensure the security of your passwords, sensitive data, encryption keys, two-factor authentication tokens, etc. The removal of the “smart card” requirement will result in a lower cost for these complete SoCs, and hopefully, consumers will be able to benefit from this cost-cutting development in the near future.

From a practical perspective, there are two elements that will receive a boost now, and this is the adoption of eSIMs and the use of smartphones for the management of cryptocurrency wallets. eSIMs have been around since 2013, but they were first supported by an actual device in 2016, and their adoption hasn’t quite taken off yet. One of the reasons for the reluctance of the manufacturers was the safety complications that arise from the use of embedded SIM units, but with Snapdragon 855 this worry can be finally crossed off.

Similarly, the rise of the blockchain technologies and the use of cryptocurrencies which are soon to go completely mainstream calls for more secure SoCs. Chips like the Snapdragon 855 pave the way to this new age, with its TPM (Trusted Platform Module) playing a pivotal role on that part. Will people start using crypto wallets more on their 2019 flagships? Maybe they will, or perhaps not yet, but Snapdragon 855 will definitely bring something that is well needed as we enter the age of 5G, and that is higher levels of security on the SoC level.

How do you see this development? Do you consider the BSI certifications important? Let us know of your opinion in the comments section down below, or share your thoughts on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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