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AT&T, IBM, Symantec join in new IoT Cybersecurity Alliance

Wed 8 Feb 2017

IoT Security

Leading tech firms with expertise across cybersecurity and IoT have agreed to join forces in a partnership which seeks to address IoT-related security challenges.

AT&T, IBM, Nokia, Palo Alto Networks, Symantec and Trustonic will make up the IoT Cybersecurity Alliance and will together research and raise awareness of ways to improve security practices in the emerging IoT landscape.

According to an AT&T release, security risks are rising with the exponential growth of connected devices. The company alone has noted a 3,198% increase in attackers prowling for vulnerabilities in IoT devices over the past three years.

Referring to a recent 2016 survey, AT&T added that 58% of business leaders said they were not confident in the security of their IoT devices.

‘The explosive growth in the number of IoT devices is only expected to continue; therefore, so must the associated cybersecurity protections,’ said Mo Katibeh, senior vice president of Advanced Solutions at AT&T.

‘Today’s businesses are connecting devices ranging from robots on factory floors to pacemakers and refrigerators. Helping these organisations stay protected requires innovation across the whole IoT ecosystem to enable sustainable growth,’ he continued.

Members of the newly formed partnership argue that the key to IoT security is to protect all devices at every layer – covering the endpoint, network, cloud and application layers. It also believes that overarching threat analytics should be key in assessing security vulnerabilities throughout the entire ecosystem.

The specific goals of the Alliance, outlined in the release, include collaborating and researching security challenges across various verticals such as connected cars, industrial, smart cities, and healthcare. The Alliance also sets out to dissect and solve these IoT security problems and make security easier to access across the entire value chain.

Additionally, it hopes to use group member’s leadership and expertise to influence security standards and policies.

‘Be it a connected car, pacemaker or coffee maker, every connected device is a potential new entry point for cyberattacks,’ said AT&T’s Chief Security Officer (CSO), Bill O’Hern.

‘Yet, each device requires very different security considerations. It’s become essential for industry leaders and innovators like those in the founding members of this Alliance, to work together to help the industry find more holistic security approaches for IoT.’

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