What Do GSMA’s Security Guidelines Mean For IoT?

iot-securityWe’re on the cusp of an IoT revolution, according to the GSMA, the global association of mobile network operators (MNOs). By 2020, 27 billion devices are estimated to be connected, with at least 10 billion tapped into a mobile network. The opportunities are endless, opening up all sorts of commercial opportunities and potentially revolutionizing everyday life.

However, without proper digital security solutions, the proliferation of IoT-enabled devices could result in more cyber-attacks. The unfortunate reality is more data means more risks, which is why it’s crucial every player in the IoT ecosystem is prepared.

What can compound the problem is a tendency to overlook or delay discussing digital security issues, resulting in serious vulnerabilities. That’s why businesses should look at security-by-design approaches and not security as an afterthought. Fortunately, the GSMA recognizes the importance of IoT security, as demonstrated by the recent release of the GSMA IoT security guidelines. These don’t just target MNOs; they’re aimed at all key players in the IoT ecosystem – device vendors, app developers and service platform providers. The GSMA realizes that an effective approach to digital security rests on all IoT stakeholders treating the issue with the importance it deserves.

The GSMA IoT security guidelines are an extremely useful resource, taking readers through every aspect of developing a robust security model. They define and summarize the security challenges the IoT faces, underline the importance of risk assessment, place renewed emphasis on privacy and provide advice on choosing an appropriate IoT security model. Finally, the GSMA highlights the significance of lifecycle management; there’s no point developing a security solution for a device which becomes obsolete after a period of use.

We’re proud to say that Gemalto has been involved in developing the GSMA’s IoT security guidelines. Supporting this, we provide a diverse portfolio of trusted IoT security solutions, ranging from encryption, multi-factor authentication, tokenization to the Trusted Service Hub.

By Manfred Kube


Head of M2M Segment Marketing and Director Business Development mHealth at Gemalto M2M, based in Germany. Crazy about the latest mobile gadgets and the Internet of things and convinced that secure wirelessly enabled devices can help assist with chronic care management, ambient assisted living, fitness and wellness monitoring, and more. Enjoys salsa dancing, running and riding his motorbike around Munich or in the Bavarian alps.

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