Gemalto Takes Security in NB-IoT a level further with Huawei’s HiSilicon

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If there is a trend I am getting to see right now, it’s the fact that IoT is gaining

  • Scalability by being integrated into the silica,
  • Reach with Huawei’s Narrowband IoT modules, and
  • Security thanks to Gemalto.

I spoke with Andreas Haegele about the partnership with Huawei’s HiSilicon semiconductor company. The partnership is aimed at supporting Narrowband IoT [NB-IoT]. In previous news, Gemalto was recognized for working with LoRaWAN networks for trusted key management solutions.

NB-IoT shares existing LTE network infrastructure and is typically being deployed in the lower wavelengths. It is being enabled by service providers with the expectation that they will have deeper penetration into buildings and facilities utilizing IoT.

The expectation is that Gemalto and Huawei’s combined expertise will provide the market with an extra level of security and save cost while offering the full benefits of NB-IoT, including consuming very low power to the point where the battery life is expected to last ten years.

While HiSilicon is in the semiconductor space, the companies have built NB-IoT modules that are available to manufacturers supporting a variety of IoT implementations including, parking sensors intruder and fire alarms, personal healthcare appliances, tracking devices, street lamps, etc.

Haegele explained, “Huawei is planning 30 NB IoT commercial network rollouts in 20 countries by the end of 2017 and our partnership gives device manufacturers an enhanced module to work with that offers extra security, lower bit rates, lower power and lower cost. Plus, it works virtually anywhere!”

The expectation is that the transition to NB-IoT is going to increase, according to ABI, to 20% of overall shipments by 2021.

In talking with Andreas, we also discussed IoT security in general. A key focus of Gemalto is Security Life Cycle Management. From tamper resistant authentication and identity management to embedded cryptographic capabilities, Gemalto offers a strong framework for security.

“Security needs to be planned at the beginning of development to protect the end-to-end solution across the entire lifetime of the device. Here we are speaking of security by design. Developers always have to balance the cost of security technology and the risk of attack and sensitivity of data – this is what we help customers achieve with our tiered offerings,” said Haegele.

Gemalto recently published a report on IoT Security. The report highlights that the increased awareness of security breaches has made consumers concerned about hackers, and in business, the concern has lead to an emphasis on encryption.

“IoT devices are a portal to the wider network and failing to protect them is like leaving your door wide open for hackers to walk in. What the survey revealed is that consumers and businesses have serious concerns about IoT security and they don’t have confidence that service providers and device manufacturers are doing enough to protect devices and data. In fact, many of the respondents want to see government regulations that define IoT security standards,” Haegele commented.

For me personally, it’s frustrating to read the consumer news about hacks that have happened on the backend, which someone translates into general statements that IoT is insecure. The reality is, companies like Gemalto have made IoT more secure than many online purchasing systems. Now all we have to do is make sure the capabilities are reflected in the processes of the service providers and enterprises deploying IoT solutions

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