Internet of Things Security Foundation opens its doors

September 24, 2015 // 12:48 p.m.

Tags: #ben-azvine #bt #intel #internet-of-things #iot #iot-security-foundation #john-moor #security #vodafone

A gaggle of companies including Intel, Vodafone, and BT, have come together to form the Internet of Things Security Foundation, a non-profit organisation which aims to develop best practice for securing the burgeoning field of smart devices.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic of late, with market-watchers predicting that the market for Twitter-connected coffee machines and smart thermostats will explode over the coming years. It feels like every technology company is launching its own IoT platform - most of which are not intercompatible - but, as with the early days of any network, security is a growing concern. Enter the Internet of Things Security Foundation.

Set up by a consortium of technology companies including Intel, BT, and Vodafone, the IOT Security Foundation is not aiming to become a standards body. Instead, the group has indicated its desire to work alongside existing organisations which will 'take a system-wide, holistic perspective on IoT security best practice.' This will begin, the group explains, with three overall activities: a look at the big-picture for IoT security; a self-certification programme for member product developers; and an inaugural conference scheduled for the 1st of December in London.

'The formation of the Internet of Things Security Foundation has been through a rigorous process to make sure it is fit for purpose. With so many concerns and a new complexity of security in IoT, it is important that we now start the necessary work in earnest to address known, yet not always addressed, and emerging vulnerabilities,' claimed John Moor, director of the Foundation. 'The scale and scope of the issues are formidable and as such they require a formidable response. This can only be achieved effectively by working together, so I am delighted to announce IoTSF is open for business and invite organisations to back the mission and join us. Together we can raise standards and make it harder for criminals, adversaries and rogues of all denominations to exploit us.'

'“Improving the security of IoT is beneficial to consumers, suppliers and businesses. It will help to accelerate adoption of the technology and protect privacy and confidentiality of information,' added Ben Azvine, head of security research at BT, in explanation of his company's membership. 'IoT Security Foundation (IoTSF) has an important role to play in achieving this, and BT is delighted to be driving its formation. We look forward to taking an active role in engaging with IoTSF members.'

Funding for the Foundation is provided by its paying corporate members, with the promise that such funds will be supplemented by 'its own operations.' A call for other funds has also been issued, asking for donations from 'benefactors who support its mission.' More information is available on the official website.
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