The FIDO Alliance is looking to promote IoT security with the release of a new FIDO Device Onboard (FDO) protocol. The automated, open-standard protocol specifically addresses the ways in which a device connects to on-premises and cloud management platforms.
In that regard, the Alliance noted that 85 percent of IoT leaders indicated that security concerns are hindering the adoption of IoT technology, which is a problem considering that the global IoT market is expected to pass the $1 trillion threshold in 2022. The FDO protocol attempts to fix that problem with asymmetric public key cryptography to make sure that organizations that want to link new devices to their existing network will be able to do so safely.
The protocol was designed primarily for industrial and commercial applications, and currently enjoys Proposed Standard status. It was developed by the FIDO Alliance’s IoT Technical Working Group, based on principles of security, flexibility, and simplicity. In plain terms, that means that the people installing new IoT devices do not need to have access to a company’s access control information in order to accomplish that task, and that those devices will be compatible with virtually any platform. It also means the installation process will be much more straightforward, and will not require any particular technical expertise.
“Businesses recognize the huge potential of the IoT and the enormous benefits it can bring,” said FIDO Executive Director and CMO Andrew Shikiar. “The paradigm needs to shift immediately so we can move IoT technologies ahead with safer, stronger and more secure means of authentication for important uses in industrial and commercial environments.”
“This is a major milestone that aims to solve one of today’s critical challenges with deploying IoT systems,” added IoT Group VP and Intel GM Christine Boles. “The new FDO standard will help reduce cost, save time and improve security to enable businesses to take advantage of the full IoT opportunity by replacing the manual onboarding process with an automated solution.”
The Alliance framed the FDO protocol as an extension of its mission to replace passwords with stronger forms of security. The organization recently partnered with the IoT Security Foundation, and will discuss the new standard during a webinar on May 7.