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Telefónica and Symantec join forces to fight cyber attacks

Steve Rogerson
November 3, 2016



ElevenPaths, Telefónica’s cyber security unit, plans to integrate Symantec’s managed PKI service to protect IoT environments from cyber attacks.
 
In the IoT, millions of different devices are interconnected in an open digital environment and need to communicate securely at all times to preserve the trustworthiness of IoT applications. Identity and authentication is a cornerstone of building such trust, therefore Spain-based Telefónica is developing ways to identify securely and indisputably those devices and secure the data transmitted among them.
 
That is, as in the physical world ID card or passport identify people, in the context of the IoT Telefónica is in the process of developing its trusted public key infrastructure service, and will be relying on Symantec managed PKI certificate technology to ensure the connected devices are exactly what they claim to be and that code running on IoT devices is authorised.
 
The high-volume, high-performance managed certificate service Symantec offers will allow Telefónica to embed certificates on hardware or issue them in real time as required for their use case. These code signing certificates and cloud-based signing-as-a-service will be part of Telefónica’s offer for the IoT environment.
 
With the new technology, companies that require large-scale IoT deployments will be able to manage certificates’ lifecycle for auto enrolment, renew and revoke the certificates to secure the communications and provide mutual identification, encrypt communications end-to-end, and guarantee the integrity and traceability of the transactions.
 
Trusted public key infrastructure service is integrated with other security and IoT managed connecting as smart M2M and is part of IoT security currently on offer by Telefónica such as: CyberThreats, capable of detecting and identifying the modus operandi of the cybercriminals and the methods used in attacks against IoT infrastructure; and Faast IoT technology specialised in detecting and analysing vulnerabilities in IoT ecosystems.
 
Telefónica and Symantec intend their future collaboration to deliver on four cornerstones that are drivers for the IoT and its security: the protection of communications; securing the identity and authentication of the IoT devices; the protection of devices themselves including host-based protection and reputation based security; the management of the devices including OTA management and the understanding of the IoT environment, through security analytics helping flag any anomaly.