AT&T and Ericsson team up to improve ‘Internet of Things’ security

Connected devices are not limited solely to the home. A growing number of businesses both large and small use connected smart devices to provide convenience to employees and improve productivity. However, not enough of these companies take the proper steps to safeguard these devices — and hackers are taking notice.

IoT devices are often used as entry points for malicious hacks in the corporate sector, so AT&T and Ericsson have teamed up to help improve Internet of Things, or IoT, security across the board. According to a press release issued by AT&T, less than 10 percent of the companies surveyed had proper security measures in place to protect against attacks launched through connected hardware.

The goal of this partnership is to pinpoint weak points in connected devices that could be used to access proprietary information or gain entry into the company network. Once the threat is identified, businesses can respond with the appropriate security measures. Cameron Coursey, vice president of IoT Solutions at AT&T, says “It’s no secret security is a growing threat for IoT. Our work with Ericsson will help establish a common and readily achievable security program that protects devices, consumers, and our networks.”

AT&T and Ericsson’s service is offered through the Cybersecurity Certification Program from the CTIA, a nonprofit trade organization that represents the wireless communications industry within the United States.

At the moment, Ericsson is the only network equipment provider accredited as a CTIA Test Lab for Cybersecurity Certification. The move to implement better cybersecurity in businesses will cover everything from body cameras to medical devices and utility meters. Any device that can be used as an entry point into a network or that otherwise represents a vulnerability will be tested and safeguarded.

Information from AT&T states that 85 percent of global organizations have considered or already begun to implement an IoT strategy. This push for better cybersecurity is proceeding at all levels. Manufacturers of IoT devices need to provide better built-in safeguards, while companies that already use devices can help protect their networks against intrusion.

Until now, business sometimes struggled to get the testing they needed to safeguard their devices. With the initiative from AT&T and Ericsson, the process should become significantly easier. Better cybersecurity benefits everyone, from CEOs all the way to customers.

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