New Podcast: A Simpler, More Secure Path to IoT Onboarding

While many companies have worked to automate IoT onboarding, until recently there hasn’t been an accepted industry standard. Existing solutions require that the end customer be known at the time of device manufacture, so the device can be pre-configured—which results in unnecessary costs. In our podcast, IoT Solution Integrator editors sat down with Intel’s Richard Kerslake to talk about the new IoT standard that could change that process and ease device onboarding. 


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Image credit: Intel/Richard Kerslake

With IoT spending expected to reach $1.2 trillion in 2022, the need for an onboarding device  standard has become paramount. To address the challenge, Intel and more than 30 companies from around the world came together two years ago to form the FIDO Alliance IOT Working Group. 

This year, that group released the FIDO Device Onboard (FDO) protocol, an open IoT standard that will enable industrial IoT devices to leverage public key cryptography. This will help solution integrators more simply and securely onboard IoT devices to any cloud or on-premises management platform, without the need for human intervention.

Easing the Challenges of Manual Onboarding

Currently, IoT device deployment involves the installation of the physical device and the setup of credentials or passwords, so the device can securely communicate with its target cloud or platform. This onboarding process is typically done manually by a technician--a process that is slow, expensive, and insecure. 

In fact, it is not uncommon for the cost of installation and setup to exceed the cost of the device itself. Customers report it takes on average 20 minutes to onboard an IoT device, according to Richard Kerslake, General manager of Industrial Controls and Robotics in Intel’s IoT Group and co-chair of the FIDO Alliance’s IoT Technical Working Group. "It doesn't take long before you're talking years of effort to activate all the IoT devices an organization might envision,” he says.

Another IoT device onboarding concern is security. A recent survey of both providers and enterprise users found that infrastructure breaches are a serious concern with IoT, with 85 percent reporting that security concerns remain a major barrier to IoT adoption. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents stated that end-to-end IoT security is their top, short-term priority.

Full Speed Ahead for IoT Onboarding

In our new podcast episode, the IoT Integrator Wire editors talk with Kerslake about these challenges and the solution from the alliance. He provides details about how the FIDO Device Onboard protocol came about and how it has the potential to significantly decrease the time required to securely onboard fleets of IoT devices. Kerslake describes how the standard will help solution integrators reduce the cost of larger IoT installations and how it can close the security gap in IoT devices. 

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