GSMA publishes guide to tackling IoT threats

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The GSMA has issued guidelines for telcos wishing to develop and deploy secure Internet of Things networks, amid growing concerns about how safe they are.

The document, stretching to more than 200 pages, gives advice on how to tackle common threats against IoT networks, as well safeguard data privacy.

The GSMA said its guide outlines technologies that can be used to prevent and eradicate threats. The trade body said telcos needed to conduct a risk assessment of all parts of a IoT service to ensure they can securely collect, store and transfer data.

Telcos including Orange, Telefónica, Ericsson, China Mobile and Verizon were involved in a consultation of the report's suggestions to ensure they were robust enough to stand up to threats.

Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA, said: "“As billions of devices become connected in the Internet of Things, offering innovative and interconnected new services, the possibility of potential vulnerabilities increases. 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.”

[VIDEO - Data and privacy in the Internet of Things]

Don A. Bailey, Founder and CEO, Lab Mouse Security, added: “There is a significant amount of evidence to suggest that cyberattacks are already happening in the burgeoning IoT space. If not handled appropriately, these attacks are likely to inhibit the growth and stability of the Internet of Things.

“It is imperative that the industry adopts a standard approach for dealing with security risks and mitigations, helping to ensure that the entire IoT ecosystem will not be subject to fraud, exposures of privacy, or attacks that affect human life."

The guidelines follow a report last week from Telefónica, which claimed the telco industry was "sleepwalking" into a world of IoT threats, with security failing to match the pace of innovation.