GlobalPlatform and IoT Connectivity Alliance sign MoU


Collaboration to support development of industry-wide standards for IoT security

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been agreed between industry associations GlobalPlatform and the IoT Connectivity Alliance (ICA). The two technical bodies will work to develop and promote a standardised approach to internet of things (IoT) security based on secure component technology. This will reduce the cost and streamline the development of large scale consumer and industrial IoT deployments.

The ICA is committed to promoting the establishment of an open, interconnected and secure ecosystem for the global IoT market which, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, is expected to reach 11 trillion US dollars by 2025. One of its key priorities for the year ahead is the development of secure authentication for IoT devices and cloud services, to tackle the issue of IoT security fragmentation in the Chinese market.

GlobalPlatform standardises two secure component technologies, Secure Element (SE) and Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), both of which address various functional and security requirements in IoT, including the protection of authentication services, device attestation and cloud enrolment. Collaboration between the two associations will foster the adoption of GlobalPlatform SE and TEE standards as security baselines for IoT devices, and simplify their integration. This work will enhance interoperability and reduce the cost and complexity of secure IoT deployments.

As Fang Qiang, Security Standard Work Group, ICA, explained: “It is expected that the market scale of China’s commercial IoT will grow from $2,155 billion to $3,610 billion by 2020. However, the security incidents that we have seen recently have resulted in fragmentation of the IoT market and its related technology. To solve this problem, the standardisation of IoT security mechanisms is desperately needed. Combining the ICA’s in-depth understanding of China’s IoT market, and key chip-related technologies, with GlobalPlatform’s nearly 20-year history as the international standard for the secure management of digital services and devices will help resolve the fragmentation problem, both in China and internationally.”

Both key players in driving the adoption of open and interoperable standards, GlobalPlatform and the ICA will collaborate on alternative interfaces for the connection of embedded SEs based on serial peripheral interface (SPI) and inter-integrated circuit (IIC) devices. This is part of the IoT road map defined by GlobalPlatform’s Consumer and Industrial IoT Task Forces, which are working to identify, define and evaluate the business and technical requirements needed for the secure deployment of IoT services.

GlobalPlatform’s technical director, Gil Bernabeu, said: “The connected device landscape is expanding rapidly; new devices need to enrol to different cloud platforms and support different device operating systems (OS). While this evolving market has the potential to revolutionise today’s digital service offering, it also represents widespread security and interoperability challenges for device makers, service providers and cloud platform providers. GlobalPlatform’s secure component technologies empower all actors in the value chain to seamlessly deliver, and securely manage, digital services and devices. Our partnership with the ICA will ensure security, while also supporting privacy, to give stakeholders the additional tools needed to help manage risk for a range of current and new use-cases”.

Longer term, the ICA and GlobalPlatform will continue promoting collaboration in the field of secure component technology, and the widespread adoption of IoT security standards in international markets.


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