Cellular Industry Rep Announces New Cybersecurity Certification for IoT

The Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) announced that they will be releasing a new certification program for cellular-connected objects that make up the Internet of Things. The nonprofit organization CTIA represents wireless carriers, manufacturers of wireless products, and service providers and advocates for new technology standards in the telecommunications industry.

The proposed CTIA cybersecurity certification incorporates IoT security recommendations from the National Institute of Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). In doing so, they devise a comprehensive program for the numerous devices connected to the internet through 5G, LTE, and other wireless networks.

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Cellular Tower

By some estimates, there are already more connected objects than people on the planet, and the task of securing all of these devices will require coordination across industries and platforms. The CTIA may be one of the most important organizations for ensuring that coordination within the United States.

The CTIA has long had a role in creating certification programs as the wireless industry has developed and the technology has progressed. Tom Sawanabori, CTO of CTIA stated, “America’s wireless industry has long been a leader in cybersecurity best practices and establishing an industry-led cybersecurity certification program for IoT devices is a major step in building a trusted, secure wireless ecosystem for the Internet of Things.”

The new cybersecurity program will be developed in collaboration with leading United States-based wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon. The goal is that IoT devices built with these certifications from the “ground up” will better protect consumers and provide a solid foundation for a smart future of connected devices, places, and services.

The importance of security within the IoT is not lost upon the wireless companies. The Senior VP of Internet of Things at Sprint, Ivo Rook, stated, “IoT is increasingly important to all companies. We need to act proactively in securing the data of our customers, and this is not just a technology challenge, it is a collaboration challenge. All operators and technology providers need to work together to ensure that robust security can foster continued growth and innovation.”

The IoT Cybersecurity Certification Program will start testing new objects for certification in Q4 2018. Currently, some industry watchdogs say the IoT is vulnerable to exploitation, and CTIA hopes its program will improve cybersecurity and stymie the multitude of attacks launched against connected objects each year.

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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