CTIA Expands Certification Program for IoT Security

The wireless association’s long-running testing labs program will soon launch a certification process for internet of things devices, which are expected to become increasingly prevalent in the 5G era.

As the definition of a connected device evolves, the wireless association CTIA is stepping up its standards for the internet of things.

This week, the association announced a new cybersecurity program for connected devices, with a goal of ensuring that devices on cellular networks are built with security in mind. This certification, which is based on existing recommendations from two federal agencies—the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)—could have a long reach, with technologies like smart cities and connected cars gaining momentum as 5G networks go online starting next year.

CTIA is well-suited for such a program for testing devices. For a quarter-century, the association’s certification working groups have developed testing requirements for numerous technologies—including for battery life, Bluetooth, and cellular devices. More than 100 CTIA Authorized Test Labs remain active globally, and those labs have helped ensure security and interoperability for wireless systems, networks, and devices.

The move also reflects the shifting regulatory environment around IoT devices. Smart Cities Dive notes that legislation in the House would require the Department of Commerce—which manages NTIA and NIST—to study potential industry regulations.

Tom Sawanobori, CTIA’s senior vice president and chief technology officer, noted that the program would underline the association’s focus on user security.

“America’s wireless industry has long been a leader in cybersecurity best practices, and establishing an industry-led cybersecurity certification program for IoT devices is a major step in building a trusted, secure wireless ecosystem for the internet of things,” he stated in a news release.

The CTIA IoT Cybersecurity Certification Program will begin accepting devices for certification testing in October 2018.

(metamorworks/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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