Ushering in a New Standard to Securely Onboard IoT Devices

Intel joins FIDO Alliance in announcing a new, open IoT protocol to simply and securely onboard IoT devices. 


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Image credit: FIDO Alliance

Intel works closely with the industry to find new ways to solve common challenges. In April 2021, Intel joined the FIDO Alliance in announcing a new, open IoT protocol to simply and securely onboard any IoT device. 

With IoT spending expected to reach $1.2 trillion in 2022, this new standard could save the industry from a lot of frustration and unnecessary security risks. It’s an important first step in addressing the security gaps that currently exist in IoT deployment within enterprise and industrial environments.

The Challenges of Manual Onboarding

Currently, IoT device deployment involves the installation of the physical device and the setup of credentials or passwords, so that it can securely communicate with its target cloud or platform. This onboarding process is usually 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.

This is widely recognized as a problem. A recent survey of both providers and enterprise users found that infrastructure breaches are a serious concern, 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.

Although multiple companies have worked to automate the onboarding process, until now, there has not been a widely accepted industry standard. Many solutions that do exist require that the end customer be known at the time of the device manufacture, so that the device can be pre-configured. This creates unnecessary friction and cost in the supply chain.

To address these security challenges, Intel and over 30 companies from around the world came together two years ago to form the FIDO Alliance IOT Working Group. The FIDO Device Onboard (FDO) protocol is a new, open IoT protocol that will enable industrial IoT devices to leverage public key cryptography to help simply and securely onboard IoT devices to any cloud or on-premises management platform without the need for human intervention.

  • Read the full article on the new FDO protocol from 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. 
  • Understand more about provisioning IoT devices, download the FDO infographic.
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