New UK Internet of Things Security Foundation launched

Technology organisations and security experts including BT, Vodafone, Imagination Technologies, Royal Holloway University of London, Copper Horse Solutions, Secure Thingz, NMI and PenTest Partners, have come together to respond to rising concerns surrounding cybersecurity challenges in IoT.

The Internet of Things Security Foundation (IoTSF) has now officially been launched, following an eight month investigative and consultative process, with the intention to bring an international and expert focus to promote excellence in IoT security with the ambition to ‘make it safe to connect’.

IoT security best practice

To meet identified needs, IoTSF has been setup as a non-profit, technology neutral body, which will take a system wide, holistic perspective on IoT security best practice. John Haine, industry veteran and visiting professor at the University of Bristol has been announced as the inaugural chair.

It is not a standards body but intends to work collaboratively with existing standards and other consortia ‘by default’. The programme of activities of the foundation will initially target three key stakeholder groups: technology providers, systems adopters and end users.

Professor Ben Azvine, Global Head of Security Research and Innovation at BT said “Improving the security of IoT is beneficial to consumers, suppliers and businesses. It will help to accelerate adoption of the technology and protect privacy and confidentiality of information. IoT Security Foundation (IoTSF) has an important role to play in achieving this, and BT is delighted to be driving its formation. We look forward to taking an active role in engaging with IoTSF members.”

Activities

To accompany the launch, IoTSF announced three activities to initiate its work:

1. IoT security: the big picture.

2. Self-certification for product developers.

3. An inaugural conference, which takes place on 1 December 2015 in London.

John Moor, VP Segment Development at NMI and IoTSF Director said “the formation of the Internet of Things Security Foundation has been through a rigorous process to make sure it is fit for purpose. With so many concerns and a new complexity of security in IoT, it is important that we now start the necessary work in earnest to address known, yet not always addressed, and emerging vulnerabilities.

“The scale and scope of the issues are formidable and as such they require a formidable response. This can only be achieved effectively by working together, so I am delighted to announce IoTSF is open for business and invite organisations to back the mission and join us. Together we can raise standards and make it harder for criminals, adversaries and rogues of all denominations to exploit us.”

Membership

Membership is now open to all stakeholder organisations around the world, and range in price from £350 per year for organisations with 1 – 10 employees, up to £6000 for those with 750+ staff.

IoTSF is funded by its membership model and will supplement income through its own operations. It will also accept donation from benefactors who support its mission.

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