WEF - Kigen - IoT Security

Towards global consensus on consumer IoT security

ZARIOT, Kigen, and The @ Company along with Google and Microsoft endorse WEF’s global initiative on Consumer IoT security. Read why the support gathered towards five security “must-haves” is a step towards laying the groundwork for the next revolution in cybersecurity.

Partnership News 2022 – Consumer IoT Security

Dublin, Feb 15 2022

In a joint press release issued today, ZARIOT, Kigen and The @ Company announced they have signed a joint statement calling for the establishment of a recognised global baseline for consumer IoT security. These companies reflect the interests of security researchers, technology providers and consumers.

Billions of connected devices are in use worldwide today, with consumer devices across wearables, smart home automation, subscription based appliances are growing rapidly. Our use and reliance on connected technology has dramatically increased through the recent pandemic years. So has the possibility, that if unchecked the security of these devices and our data can be under threat.

In the first half of 2021 alone, there were 1.5 billion attempted compromises of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, double the 2020 figure according to Kaspersky.

When I reflect on how IoT security is fast evolving, I’m reminded of wisdom of C.S Lewis with these words “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

With that spirit, we welcomed the work initiated by the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Connected World, leaders from Consumers International, the Cybersecurity Tech Accord and I Am the Cavalry, representing more than 400 organizations globally, towards a consensus on baseline cybersecurity provisions for consumer IoT devices. 

Smart devices offer myriad benefits, including convenience and improved functionality, they must be developed with security in mind and used responsibly to avoid introducing unnecessary cyber risk.

“These connected technologies, be they security cameras, pacemakers, or washing machines, have long lifespans. Security solutions must be forward-thinking and future-proof. We aim to challenge all preconceived perceptions of cellular security, define them; and then re-challenge them all over again. We hope that the commitment shown in this joint statement will spur a global awakening in IoT cybersecurity, which will lead to good faith as consumers adapt to a larger tech presence in their lives.”

Dawood Ghalaieny, CEO at ZARIOT

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This commitment to security and data privacy is also shared by companies like arm, Google and Microsoft that have shaped the way we as consumers interact with technology. Companies of all scales and interest need to come together to shape and drive a new security agenda for IoT if this technology is to be embraced for all of it’s benefits.

Consensus on global security provisions

A patchwork of regulations, laws, and standards already exist in many countries. But, in a globally connected society, the pinnacle of security lies in cooperation among all nations and industry stakeholders. This is why the World Economic Forum statement on cybersecurity is essential. Adopting a global baseline built on five pillars lays the groundwork for the next generation of consumer and business IoT technology that ensures trust and engagement.

The five “must-haves”, based on the EN 303 645, developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), are easy to implement and adopt worldwide. They are:  

  1. No universal default passwords
  2. Implementing a vulnerability disclosure policy
  3. Keeping software updated
  4. Securely communicating and 
  5. Ensuring that personal data is secure. 

A global consensus – across stakeholder groups – on the five security provisions for device security in this statement is just a starting point, but an important one. More organizations from the public-private sector must unite and cooperate to build a stronger, global foundation to fight cyber threats.

“As connected devices become more integral to our daily lives, security of these devices, their data and end user privacy is going to be measures for customer success. This needn’t be difficult. This global effort is an important leap towards simplifying best practices for OEMs and device makers and we’re proud to support it.”

Vincent Korstanje, CEO at Kigen.

See the full statement here.

“We believe that data privacy is a fundamental right. And, we recognize that as our everyday lives become more connected, protecting our privacy gets messier and ever more challenging. A complete data privacy solution is a community effort, one we’re honored to be part of.” 

Barbara Tallent, CEO The @ Company.

Towards action

The goal of the WEF statement is to initiate immediate action from vendors and manufacturers to adopt these baseline standards, guidelines, and best practises. Together with ZARIOT and The @ Company, we at Kigen plan to continue working together through the WEF’s Council on the Connected World and Centre for Cybersecurity on technology governance.

Device makers, the time is now

A global survey by PWC in 2020 found that consumers want trusted alternatives of connected (device) services, with 83% wanting control over their data and 85% wishing for companies they can trust with their data. Given a trustworthy option, consumers would not only change providersbut are also willing to pay for more enhanced security.

With tamper-resistant technology in SIM, eSIM and it’s integrated form factor – iSIM, which Kigen pioneered as part of Arm back in 2018, and standards based schema such as the GSMA IoT SAFE, it is easier than ever to incorporate ‘secure-by-design’ functionality that addresses the changing consumer perception in security.

A good place to start to tap into this joint expertise is MWC’22 taking place in Barcelona from 28 February to 03 March, 2022. I’ll be joining Jimmy Jones, Head of Security at ZARIOT in a panel discussion along with other experts to touch upon how eSIM and iSIM technology can address some key challenges for global product development for manufacturers.

Meet Kigen at 5G IoT Summit MWC'22

I’m proud of the growing support through which security and trust embedded into future IoT devices become a fundamental enabler for impactful innovation and trust in IoT.

Learn more about our solutions for device makers, OEMs, and module manufacturers here.