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Secure Standardization Efforts Slowly Emerging for Fragmented IoT Ecosystem

Oyster Bay, New York - 14 Sep 2017

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The IoT represents a game-changing technological breakthrough. ABI Research forecasts 48.8 billion connected devices globally by 2021. But the ecosystem is volatile, fractured, and experimental. As such, it is highly vulnerable to cyberthreats. The successful implementation and adoption of IoT technologies will depend on the ability to trust the devices and the underlying infrastructure.

“Without such trust, IoT adoption may prove disastrous. And not just financially. Failure of critical devices, such as connected cars or medical appliances, could have life-threatening implications” says Michela Menting, Digital Security Research Director.  “Standards can and will play a significant role in enabling this trust. Security standards specifically can provide a foundation for building robust and trusted IoT devices, both from a digital and a physical security perspective.”

Due to the largely nascent aspect of the IoT, security standardization will take some time, but these efforts are being underpinned by a dynamic drive to develop specifications, reference architectures and other technical frameworks to address compatibility and interoperability. Security forms an increasingly critical part of this drive. In large part, security is still being addressed through best practices, guidelines, and strategic recommendations, but these efforts are slowly trickling down to embed themselves in standards.  

These efforts are advanced by a host of public and private sector players, industry coalitions and alliances, and international organizations and standardization bodies, under the auspices of working groups, technical committees, and task forces, including (but not limited to) GlobalPlatform, ISA, IETF, OCF, OMG, oneM2M, OMA, TCG, NIST, ETSI, AIOTI, CSA, CSCC, Eclipse Foundation, GSMA, IIC, IoTSF, Linux Foundation, OTA, and the prpl Foundation, among many others.

Guidelines and standards development in the IoT security space are critical to supporting trust in the IoT, and stakeholders will benefit significantly from engaging in such efforts as they may profoundly shape the IoT ecosystem for years to come.

These findings are from ABI Research’s IoT Security: Development of Standards and Guidelines report. This report is part of the company’s Digital Security research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.