January 10, 2022 - 11:17 am

Code Of Practice For Securing Consumer IoT 

    In order to secure consumer internet of things (IoT) devices, Telecommunication Engineering Centre(TEC), under Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications has released a report "Code of Practice for Securing Consumer Internet of Things (IoT)" as a baseline requirement aligned with global standards and best practices. These guidelines will help in safeguarding such devices and ecosystem as well as in managing vulnerabilities. The report is intended for use by IoT device manufacturers, service providers, system integrators and application developers, among others.

    IoT is a term that describes the increasingly sophisticated ecosystems of online connected devices we share our world with. The slightly odd name refers to the fact that the first iteration of the internet was simply a network connected computers. As the internet grew, phones, office equipment like printers and scanners, and industrial machinery were added to the internet. Today, just about any device we use in our homes, offices, factories, or simply wear on our bodies can be online and connected has the internet of "things".

                          IoT is one of the fastest emerging technology across the globe, providing enormous beneficial opportunities for society, industry and consumers. It's being used to create smart infrastructure in various verticals such as power, Automatic, Safety and Surveillance, Remote Health Management, Agriculture, Smart Homes and Smart Cities etc, using connected devices. It is benefited by recent advances in several technologies such as sensors, communications technologies (Cellular and non non-Cellular) AI/ML, Cloud/Edge computing etc.

    As per the projections, there may be 26.4 bn IoT devices in service globally by 2026. Out of these approximately 20% will be on cellular technologies. Ratio of Consumer and Enterprise IoT devices may be 45%:55%. As per the National Digital Communication Policy (NDCP) 2018 released by Department of Telecommunications, an ecosystem is to be created for 5 billion connected devices by 2022. Therefore, it is expected around 60% of 5 billion that is 3 billion connected devices may exist in India by 2022.

    IoT paradigm has long been considered a key incentive to the Fourth Industrial Revolution with the potential to transform the way we live our lives. It is a trend that is driving the ongoing desired digitisation and datafication of society in many new and amazing ways. The regulatory landscape for IoT is evolving rapidly as governments sake to mitigate growing cyber risk and protect not only consumers but societies and economies at large. We are certainly moving in the right direction. Still, with a myriad of standards, regulations, and baseline requirements being introduced to mandate enhanced security across the IoT value chain, there is still some confusion across the ecosystem.

    Stakeholders are working towards a more secure connected future. Still, the regulatory picture remains Complex without a single source setting out recommendations and specifications that can be applied globally. So, while we may have come a long way, the need to demystify and defragment the regulatory landscape in a common language and provide a common framework around IoT security is critical to unlocking its potential.