GSMA issues security guidelines for IoT

The GSMA, alongside seven mobile operators, has unveiled extensive security guidelines for developing IoT services and products.

The global telecoms body said the guidelines have been designed with the entire IoT ecosystem in mind; including IoT service providers, device manufacturers, developers and network operators.

According to research undertaken by Intelligence, concerns over security is the biggest barrier to implementing IoT among telecoms operators – identified by nearly half of those surveyed. Meanwhile, just 10% said they’re capable of launching fully secured IoT services. What this illustrates in the context of today’s announcement is a clear desire to see more guidance in securing IoT.

The GSMA says the guidelines will outline various ways to identify and address potential IoT threats, thus helping service providers build secure services from the outset. The guidelines also apparently explain risk assessment methodologies to ensure IoT services are capable of collecting, storing and exchanging data securely while mitigating possible cybersecurity attacks.

“As billions of devices become connected in the Internet of Things, offering innovative and interconnected new services, the possibility of potential vulnerabilities increases,” said the GSMA’s CTO, Alex Sinclair. “These can be overcome if the end-to-end security of an IoT service is carefully considered by the service provider when designing their service and an appropriate mitigating technology is deployed. A proven and robust approach to security will create trusted, reliable services that scale as the market grows.”

The GSMA partnered with AT&T, China Telecom, Etisalat, KDDI, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Telefónica, Telenor and Verizon for operator and service provider input, while Ericsson, Gemalto and u-blox contributed from the vendor community. Telefónica’s Chief IoT Officer, Vicente Muñoz Boza, says the industry needs such guidelines so that service providers can feel secure about their IoT services.

“These guidelines build on the long experience of secure communications over cellular networks. Security of IOT solutions is of utmost importance and these documents represent an important step in supporting our customers to deliver secure end to end services.”

The entirety of the guidelines, all 200+ pages, are available here.

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