Intel wants to help customers overcome a major barrier to IoT – the daunting and time-consuming task of securely onboarding their connected devices.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company on Tuesday launched Intel Secure Device Onboarding, a service that helps customers install IoT devices more quickly and efficiently – while also reducing the time that it takes device manufacturers to pre-configure devices.
"We're seeing the benefits of IoT, but we're also seeing so many companies getting stuck in the proof of concept phase," said Dipti Vachani, vice president and general manager of Intel's Internet of Things Group. "Customers face challenges when they deploy IoT devices like connected lightbulbs, like security and IT-OT integration issues. Deploying a connected lightbulb can take up to 50 minutes. We wanted to take a step back and figure out how to help customers deploy this quickly."
Vachani told CRN that customers deploying their IoT devices face challenges like a "tremendous return on investment drag" and a lack of security measures.
Many customers use a manual installation process, where the device arrives on-site, and then needs to be installed and turned on through manual provisioning, while the IT backend must accept device credentials and connect it to the device management system before it starts working. That means it could take over two years to securely onboard 10,000 IoT connected lightbulbs, said Intel.
The chip company wants to take that hefty installation process "from hours to seconds" so that customers can speed up their device deployment, by offering a "SIM life" approach that ties device identity to initiated activation quickly and at scale.
Intel Secure Device Onboarding, which is being offered to IoT platform providers as a service they can provide to customers, allows devices to discovers the customers' IoT platform account automatically once it powers on.
The service also leverages Intel's privacy preserving IoT identity solution – Intel Enhanced Privacy ID (EPID). On the security front, EPID establishes an anonymous secure channel where endpoint authentication is hidden, so hackers cannot trace devices from the factory to end users.
Intel has built a partner ecosystem around its Secure Device Onboard service so that customers have flexibility in implementing the service into their existing infrastructure and platforms - including equipment providers like Adlink, Supermico, and Arrow, as well as IoT platforms like Google Cloud, AWS, and Schneider Electric.
The company is also partnering with other EPID silicon providers like Infineon, Microchip, and Cypress.