6 Tech Giants Form IoT Cyber Security Alliance

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Six of the world’s leading tech giants have come together to form a super power of expertise and solutions to battle a common problem: Cybersecurity in the Internet of Things.

AT&T, IBM, Nokia, Palo Alto Networks, Symantec, and Trustonic announced Wednesday they were joining forces to “innovate in the security space” forming a group named the IoT Cybersecurity Alliance. The group will research and raise awareness of ways to better secure the IoT ecosystem, the press release said.

“The explosive growth in the number of IoT devices is only expected to continue; therefore, so must the associated cybersecurity protections,” said Mo Katibeh, AT&T senior vice president of Advanced Solutions in the statement. “Today’s business are connecting devices ranging from robots on factory floors to pacemakers and refrigerators. Helping these organizations stay protected requires innovation across the whole IoT ecosystem to enable sustainable growth.”

An AT&T survey in 2016 showed 58% of companies were not confident in the security of their IoT devices, and there has been a 3,198% increase in attackers scanning for vulnerabilities in IoT devices over the past three years.

There are four main goals of the Alliance:

  • Collaborate and research security challenges of IoT across verticals
  • Dissect and solve IoT security problems at every layer of security
  • Make security easy to access across the ecosystem
  • Influence security standards and policies

As previously reported by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, its expected there will be 20 billion "things" connected to the Internet by the year 2020, while some 5.5 million devices were being connected daily in 2016, according to Gartner Research. By the end of 2014, there were just 3.8 billion connected devices total. 

Alliance members say “the combined effort creates the opportunity for end-to-end IoT security to help businesses continue to grow and compete in the ever-changing market.” The announcement came just days before the kickoff of one of the year's biggest cybersecurity events, RSA Conference 2017, which took place Feb. 13 to Feb. 17 in San Francisco.