By Kavit Majithia

IoT security issues fueled by new entrants

The implementation of internet of things (IoT) standards could go a long way to solving ongoing concerns around security, believes Srikanth Chandrasekaran, senior director IEEE, as he warned the problem will only ramp up with more entrants leading to an increasing number of connected devices.

Speaking on a panel addressing IoT security, Chandrasekaran said there are two options on the table: “Either we can throw away all the devices and say they are not secure, or we can look at how to actively fix this problem.”

He explained that IEEE Standards Association has more than 1,200 active standards in place and more than 650 under development, with IoT security now a major focus area as concerns continue to grow.

Fellow panelists cited numerous recent news articles where the focus has turned on consumer devices being compromised. Chandrasekaran said IEEE is now “trying to understand what needs to be done at the protocol and application level, particularly in this space where we have a number of different technologies rapidly coming together”.

IEEE has found “input” in connected devices coming from various sectors and sources in recent years, such as clothing, healthcare, energy and manufacturing, which is increasing the challenge of securing the devices in question even further.

Chandrasekaran explained that security verification was also becoming increasingly complex on hardware because traditionally, there was a need to verify that a chip does what it is supposed to do.

However, with more intelligent networks, “the emerging role is ensuring that a chip does nothing it is not supposed to do”.

Rise of the edge

Also speaking at the IoT summit, Robert Topol, GM of 5G advanced technologies, client and IoT business group at Intel, addressed how edge computing and 5G can propel IoT. He spoke of the “rise of the edge”, and the capabilities that are coming from IoT, with a focus on the “plumbing and the infrastructure” to make sure the world fully sees the benefits of many of the use cases currently being talked about.