CTIA Launches Cybersecurity Certification To Give IoT Security A Boost

The CTIA is rolling out a cybersecurity certification aimed at protecting Internet of Things devices, the wireless trade association said Tuesday.

The CTIA IoT Cybersecurity Certification Program will improve security in IoT devices by helping developers build cybersecurity into the foundation of these devices, the CTIA said.

The program plans to start accepting devices for certification testing in October 2018.

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Similar to the CTIA's other certification programs, the IoT Cybersecurity Certification Program follows a process in which suppliers and vendors work with operators to submit their devices to authorized test labs, which independently conduct the CTIA IoT Test Plan.

"The process can work for channel partners, provided they collaborate with operators to get their devices certified," Tom Sawanobori, CTIA's senior vice president and CTO, said in an email to CRN.

The program, according to the CTIA, is the first of its kind because it was developed in cooperation with the leading U.S.-based wireless providers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

The certification program for IoT devices will not only help developers protect users, but it will create a platform infused with security from the ground up for smart cities, connected cars, mobile health services and other IoT applications, the CTIA said.

"Establishing an industry-led cybersecurity certification program for IoT devices is a major step in building a trusted, secure wireless ecosystem for [IoT]," Sawanobori said in a statement. "The IoT Cybersecurity Certification Program harnesses CTIA's network of authorized labs and reflects our commitment to securing networks and devices in an increasingly connected wireless world."

Many leading telecommunications providers and wireless operators are behind the CTIA's latest effort, as are device specialists Ericsson and Nokia. These providers and security experts worked together to jointly develop the new program, which also includes IoT security recommendations from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The CTIA represents the U.S. wireless communications industry and advocates for companies within the mobility space, including wireless carriers, device manufacturers, suppliers as well as apps and content companies. The Washington, D.C.-based association was founded in 1984.