Skip to main content

MEF Mobile IoT Advisor, Andrew Parkin-White shares his takeaways from the round-table discussion on the growing IoT ecosystem and the IoT Programme at MEF held in Barcelona. In the final part of the series, the focus is on the issue of the identity of things. Previous posts dealt with the roles of security and roaming.

Bringing best practice to the Identity of Things (IDoT) is paramount in progressing the IoT ecosystem

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a key consideration that IoT enterprise security teams need to address and is a building block in unlocking the IoT solutions market. With estimates of a value of $21.5bn by 2022, according to ABI Research, for personal identity and that of things, it is clearly important in its own right.

Watch the MEF IoT Roundtable part 3

IAM used to address the relationship between humans and devices but with the dawn of IoT, it now has to cover relationships between devices – the IDoT. Significant markets will include industrial manufacturing, automotive, telematics, fleet management, home security and automation.

IDoT is a complex and challenging area that is ever changing and deploys at large scale. We are likely to see many products having identities in the future including fast moving consumer goods, clothing and medication. This widescale deployment will need new and innovative approaches for identity management, especially if the field life is relatively short.

IAM platforms that verify the identity and access permissions of users and devices are outdated and could hinder the growth of the market. Many platforms are over ten years old and no longer fit for purpose with a rapid growth in IoT devices and applications. With this proliferation, platforms can no longer manage the volume of connections and applications such as connected cars could render the platforms obsolete.

Enterprises need to update to capitalize on the business benefits of IoT solutions and move from a defensive mode to embracing devices outside the boundaries of the enterprise. At the same time, they should progress from permitting and denying access to more flexible, modular, agile and scale-able systems that operate across borders.

Moving to zero touch provisioning is a key market development with Intel and Arm driving initiatives in this area. The business benefits of IoT may not be realised without industry collaboration to offer  more open and scalable methods to securely provision devices and their data to the cloud , according to Intel. Clearly, the connection of billions of devices need greater simplicity in onboarding to achieve business benefits more rapidly with reduced costs achieved by a more automated process. Identity is the building block in this scenario.

MEF’s focus on IDoT is to build knowledge and awareness, whilst understanding the importance of IDoT and how it differs to personal identity. Work is underway to demonstrate the issues and challenges facing IDoT and supporting providers and enterprises in formulating an IDoT policy. The working group will be developing best practice in IDoT to ensure that devices have secure identities.

Andrew Parkin-White

MEF Advisor  


MEF Members – Watch the full panel + more now

MWC 2020 may have been rightfully cancelled, but with many MEF Members were still in Barcelona to hold meetings, catch up with colleagues and discuss the issues facing the Global telco ecosystem, MEF created a line-up of sessions across our programmes. MEF Members – log in now to watch the presentations and download the slides.

Members – Log in now >