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BLE & NFC prove instrumental to widespread IoT deployment

How to Use Bluetooth® and NFC for Secure Out of Band (OoB) Pairing

When combined with near field communications (NFC) technology, Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE - also known as Bluetooth Smart), the power-conserving incarnation of Bluetooth opens up a number of new opportunities for designers of IoT and other smart devices. One of these opportunities is secure, ‘Out of Band’ (OoB) pairing.

While Bluetooth incorporates robust, AES-128 encryption, some applications demand increased protection by eliminating the possibility of interception of the pairing information required to initiate the Bluetooth session. One way to achieve this is by using NFC, rather than Bluetooth, to manage the pairing process. This involves transmitting the credentials required for two entities to pair using NFC, with the close proximity preventing unwanted devices from connecting without a user’s knowledge or permission.
 

In this scenario an NFC-enabled device such as a phone or tablet is placed closed to an NFC target – for example a payment terminal or a printer. Energy from the device’s NFC antenna wakes the fixed device, which transmits its Bluetooth credentials using the secure NFC connection. As the mobile device detects that the fixed device is present, it initiates the pairing request via NFC such that the security keys cannot be inadvertently or maliciously be intercepted. Once pairing is complete, the secure AES-128 encrypted Bluetooth communication can be used for data transfer in the normal way.
 

You can find out more about secure OoB pairing and technologies that can speed the implementation of integrated Bluetooth/NFC applications by downloading our whitepaper, ‘Deploying Bluetooth® Low Energy and NFC for Secure Connections and Easy Pairing’.

Click here to find out more about secure OoB pairing and technologies that can speed the implementation of integrated Bluetooth/NFC applications

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