Near Field Communication (NFC) is an emerging short-range wireless communication technology that is at the heart of an expanding spectrum of easy-to-use, intuitive, and contactless applications. Unfortunately, the multiple operating modes and numerous application scenarios have made it particularly challenging for securing NFC based systems. In this paper, we review the potential security threats for NFC and summarize the efforts of standardization bodies and industry using elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) to protect NFC based systems in great detail. We also improve a key agreement and confirmation protocol in the ECMA-386 standard to an authenticated version and propose an entity authentication protocol based on the elliptic curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) primitive and the elliptic curve Qu-Vanstone (ECQV) implicit certificate scheme. Efficient and secure implemen tations of the ECDH scheme on NFC-enabled devices are discussed and reported.