IoT security-standards group adds to its board as industry struggles with ongoing hacks

IoT security-standards group adds to its board as industry struggles with ongoing hacks

A Silicon Labs executive has joined the IoXt Alliance board of directors. Gregory Guez, senior director of product marketing and Internet of Things (IoT) security for Silicon Labs, was appointed Jan. 15.

Guez is a founding member of the IoXt Alliance. The organization’s goal is to give everyone involved with or using connected IoT devices confidence by creating strong, universal security-product standards.

Basically, member organizations want to create a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to lessen security concerns of regulators, distribution channels, integrators and consumers.

Other companies contributing to the board include Amazon, Google, Comcast, Legrand S.A., Resideo Technologies Inc., T-Mobile and the Zigbee Alliance.

The need for security standards is great and getting increasingly critical.

On New Year’s Day, a Reddit post exposed a flaw involving Google’s Nest Hubs that were integrated with Xiaomi security cameras.

The flaw allowed the owners of those Nest Hub devices to access the feeds of other people’s Xiaomi cameras, according to SecurityWeek, a forum sponsored by Intel Corp.

The flaw was found to be with the Mi Home Security Camera Basic 1080p cameras, Google disabled all Xiaomi integrations with Nest Hub.

The offending cameras ultimately were re-enabled, but the camera-streaming function is disabled, according to SecurityWeek postings.

Coincidentally, Consumer Reports magazine last week called for the Internet-of-Things cameras made by 25 manufacturers to be recalled because of perceived security flaws.

Magazine editors said that last month, a man hacked a woman’s connected camera, harassing her through the audio output of the camera system mounted in her bedroom.

An article in business-to-business technology publication Techradar reports that people will generate 1.7 megabytes of data per second, thanks to the Internet of Things and machine learning. Very little of that data is believed to be sufficiently secured.

Not only does a lack of effective security standards cause fear, uncertainty and doubt among business and consumer buyers, it eventually invites sometimes government actions that vendors will have to react to.

Last fall, Finnish regulatory body Traficom created a smart-device certification program that consumers can use to see if products meet basic information-security requirements.

Security criteria are based on standards created by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute. The institute said at the time that Finland was the first European nation to certify safe smart devices.

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