IoT Cybersecurity Alliance launches with AT&T, IBM, Nokia and others

padlock-1AT&T, IBM, Nokia, Palo Alto Networks, Symantec and Trustonic have announced that they are collaborating to help address IoT security challenges. The “IoT Cybersecurity Alliance” says the combination of industry-leading security providers and IoT experts will research and raise awareness of ways to better secure the IoT ecosystem.

“The explosive growth in the number of IoT devices is only expected to continue; therefore, so must the associated cybersecurity protections,” said Mo Katibeh, SVP of Advanced Solutions at AT&T. “Today’s businesses are connecting devices ranging from robots on factory floors to pacemakers and refrigerators. Helping these organisations stay protected requires innovation across the whole IoT ecosystem to enable sustainable growth.”

RELATED: Improving IoT security

In the past three years, AT&T says it has seen a 3,198 per cent increase in attackers scanning for vulnerabilities in IoT devices. When AT&T surveyed companies in 2016, 58 per cent of respondents said they were not confident in the security of their IoT devices.

The Alliance members believe the key to IoT security lies in protecting all devices at the endpoint, network, cloud and application layer, and using overarching threat analytics to study the overall ecosystem and designing products with a built- in, always-on security approach. The members want to advise customers and educate the industry on the cybersecurity measures needed to create a safer IoT ecosystem, foster collaboration and advance innovation with top cybersecurity and IoT thought leaders.

RELATED: Learn more about ITU’s cybersecurity activities

Specifically, goals of the IoT Cybersecurity Alliance are to:

  • Collaborate and research security challenges of IoT across verticals and use cases such as automotive, industrial, smart cities and healthcare. The Alliance will take use cases or business challenges in IoT cybersecurity to dissect and advance security concerns and identify ways to implement security across the value chain.
  • Dissect and solve for IoT security problems at every critical layer of security. These include the endpoint, connectivity, cloud, and data/application layers, and the Alliance says it includes experts at each of these layers to help educate businesses and consumers on how to protect their connections.
  • Make security easy to access across the ecosystem. Security needs to exist across the value chain, and the Alliance says users will benefit from innovative IoT services and infrastructures that can withstand the ever-evolving threat landscape.
  • Influence security standards and policies. Using each group member’s leadership and expertise will raise awareness of cybersecurity, with the Alliance engaging regularly with policymakers and other organisations.

“Be it a connected car, pacemaker or coffee maker, every connected device is a potential new entry point for cyberattacks,” said Bill O’Hern, Chief Security Officer at AT&T. “Yet, each device requires very different security considerations. It’s become essential for industry leaders and innovators like those in the founding members of this Alliance, to work together to help the industry find more holistic security approaches for IoT.”

The IoT Cybersecurity Alliance intends to bring together market leaders in device security, connectivity, data, cloud, and applications, creating the opportunity for end-to-end IoT security to help businesses continue to grow and compete in the ever-changing market. Its members say they will help the industry maximize the advantages of IoT while educating about how to keep companies and consumers more secure.

The original version of this article first appeared in Telecom TV. 

Telecom TV delivers daily insight on the converging worlds of telecoms, media and entertainment. Views expressed in this article from Telecom TV do not necessarily reflect those of ITU.

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