AllSeen's AllJoyn Framework Could Ease IoT Security Concerns
Ben-Zur said AllSeen's work on its AllJoyn framework will be able to reduce that attack surface by giving users greater control over which of their connected systems they want to expose to the Internet. AllSeen was founded six months ago by a wide range of industry vendors—from Qualcomm, Sharp, Cisco and D-Link to LG Electronics, Panasonic, Silicon Image and Wilocity—and charged with creating an open software framework that vendors, service providers and developers can leverage to create interoperable devices and services. The original framework that has become AllJoyn was created by Qualcomm Innovation Center, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, and contributed to the AllSeen Alliance. The consortium now has 44 members. The idea is that devices and services that adopt the AllJoyn framework will be able to autonomously discover and interact with each other regardless of the programming languages, tools, operating systems, hardware platforms or brands of each device. That could help ease security concerns, Ben-Zur said. She envisions an environment where those 30 AllJoyn-enabled connected devices in a home or business can communicate with each other, exchanging data back and forth, but not every one of them is exposed to the Internet. Consumers and business users can decide which of those systems needs to share its data on the Internet, and then allow that access, while other devices are kept off the Internet.The method is not foolproof and won't eliminate all vulnerabilities to attack, Ben-Zur said. But it can reduce the number of avenues available for hackers to try to exploit, and cut down on the security and privacy risks. IoT security will continue to be a focus of the AllSeen Alliance going forward, and Ben-Zur indicated that a significant announcement around security and privacy will be coming from the consortium in the coming months.
"You can let me decide what goes out onto the Internet," she said. "You start to imagine a much more controlled environment."