Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

CTIA: Security tops list of concerns for M2M players

Iain Morris
September 11, 2014
Security is becoming a growing concern for the global M2M industry as organizations increasingly look to M2M services to deliver cost savings and open up new revenue opportunities.

Gathered at a Wednesday-morning session hosted by the Internet M2M Council during this week’s CTIA show in Las Vegas, analysts and industry representatives were in broad agreement that security requirements will be a major issue in coming years with the proliferation of devices and services in the global M2M and Internet of Things market.

Jared Bazzy, the director of research for the IMC, said data security was rated by respondents to a recent survey as one of the most critical needs for enterprises that are designing and launching M2M systems.

According to that survey, enterprises are investing in new M2M services not only to cut costs but also to generate additional revenues from new products and services, making security an even bigger issue.

Robin Duke-Woolley, the chief executive of Beecham Research – which is set to publish a new report on the topic of M2M security – said the multiplicity of different network technologies and devices in the M2M market was only aggravating the problem.

“We need security elements we can use in different verticals to different degrees, and that means we need frameworks we can work to,” said Duke-Woolley. “The trouble is that getting standards in this environment is a very slow process – usually you get to them after solutions appear – and that’s why we need collaboration.”

Andrew Brown, the executive director of enterprise research with Strategy Analytics, said the security challenge was getting bigger as developer and IT communities take ever more interest in the IoT opportunity.

“There’s an element of the Wild West,” he said. “There are different platforms emerging that don’t have the same degree of security as technologies developed by the likes of Telit [a module maker].”

Another security issue for M2M players is dealing with the needs of different vertical markets and different services.

As Brown notes, there may be a much greater need for security in smart metering and certain healthcare solutions than in a household-based smart lighting application.

“Each vertical will have to define what their security needs are for us to respond,” said Mobeen Khan, AT&T’s (Dallas, TX, USA) executive director of advanced mobility solutions.
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