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Helping companies navigate the IoT security maze

Security has become one of the biggest headaches for both developers of IoT devices and providers of IoT services. Hardly a day goes by without another announcement of the latest way to protect expanding networks, a problem that increases due to a lack of global standardisation.
As the IoT grows and the number of devices being deployed for each service extends into the thousands and more, developers face the extra hassle of not only securing devices but doing so at scale.
 
Oddly, that creates a different problem for those with relatively small deployments as technology providers seem geared up now for large networks.
 
For that reason it was refreshing to talk with Arizona electronics company Microchip last week. It has been working with the likes of Amazon Web Services, LoRa suppliers and Google Cloud to come up with a security package for deployments as low as ten units. True, the device only provides basic pre-provisioned security, but it is there and there is the option to scale large with more customised features.
 
“It is for any type of volume,” Nicolas Demoulin, Microchip's marketing manager for EMEA, said at the launch. “It can be for a low minimum ordering quantity or for thousands of units.”
 
The company is also trying to make it easier with predefined use cases for AWS, LoRa and Google Cloud, with Microsoft Azure coming later this year. And, as Demoulin pointed out: “There is no need for the customer to understand what is security. Everything has been done.”
 
This is important as many companies do not have the in-house expertise to handle the growing security threat, and hiring new staff can be difficult as security experts are hard to find. Also in the news tackling that very problem is U-Blox. The Swiss company has formed a partnership with security experts Kudelski Group to set up an IoT security laboratory.
 
The lab will help users protect the security of their IoT devices, ecosystems and businesses against current and evolving threats. They will be able to draw on the combined hardware, software and security expertise of the two companies without having to invest in hiring, retaining and training in-house security experts.
 
There are no easy answers to the growing security problems, and these problems are not going to go away but get worse as the IoT grows. Many companies do not have the time, money or expertise to deal with this and so it is good that companies such as Microchip and U-Blox are stepping up to the plate to help companies through the security maze.