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Dedicated core network is the cornerstone of secure IoT

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The ever-growing IoT networks that interconnect masses of devices now carry a wealth of highly sensitive information, from health data to the geographical location of vehicles and people - it is no coincidence that in many places the IoT network is considered a critical national infrastructure. Szabolcs Dobra, IoT Site Representative on Ericsson IoT Accelerator (IoTA) about secure IoT.

IoT Site Representative

Secure IoT Ericsson Hungary

IoT Site Representative

IoT Site Representative

A proprietary network created specifically for IoT use can not only facilitate the management of a plethora of connected devices, but also provide a sound basis for protecting traffic.

The number of IoT (Internet of Things) connections will rise to 5.9 billion by 2026, representing a growth of about three and a half times from 1.7 billion counted last year. Protecting this enormous pool of online devices is already extremely important, but as it grows, it will become increasingly critical. With the IoT Accelerator solution, abbreviated as IoTA, Ericsson paves the way for a brisky and safe offer on the IoT landscape. For large enterprise customers and telecommunications companies, the solution offers a dedicated IoT network as a service – i.e., as part of the "as-a-service” business model – which includes a number of additional services and functions that are available on demand, from telematics and subscription management to the management of vehicles with online connectivity.

IoTA also offers extensive eSIM support to manage IoT fleets as flexibly as possible. There are currently a total of about 80 million traditional SIMs and eSIMs connected to the IoTA network worldwide, covering more than seven thousand large enterprise customers and more than 35 telecommunications providers - in more than 100 countries.

Critical Infrastructure

The reliability of the protection is already well illustrated by the user base; IoTA also supports public customers, and in their case the platform is considered a Critical National Infrastructure (CNI), so it is subject to extremely strict regulations. In addition to GDPR compliance that is a fundamental requirement in the EU, such regulations include, for example, the NCSC (National Cyber Security Center) guidelines in the UK and a series of country-specific, detailed specifications that are regularly checked by customers through random audits.

This is understandable, as there are many IoT projects that handle extremely sensitive data – it is enough to think about the fleet management of vehicles with online connectivity or even information from health sensors. In developing and operating IoTA, Ericsson therefore pays special attention to security - the system eliminates, among other things, the top ten security risks identified by the global Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) which specializes in software security.

Ericsson's customers who actively use IoTA include Sony, specifically its Soy Network Communications Europe division, which uses it to lay the foundations for various mobile IoT platforms such as Visilion or mSafety. Visilion is an advanced tracking solution used in the logistics and healthcare segments that provides real-time location data based on a variety of sensors in applications covering shipped goods, various values, or even people. mSafety is an eSIM-enabled, wearable device-based platform with a cloud-based backend. The latter can be connected to devices either on an LTE or on an NB-IoT network to transmit various measured health data. The two systems can used to implement services such as SafeTrx, which monitors the location of people doing sports in the open, such as surfers, and notifies the appropriate authorities in an emergency.

For similar applications, both adequate network protection and reliable, stable operation are essential, which Ericsson is willing to provide to its partners who can connect to the company's core network and use all the modular services available on it. These include subscription management or user administration, but they can also take advantage of APIs provided through Ericsson’s developer portal to develop applications for the platform themselves, which is also protected by a multi-layered authentication solution with role-based access control.

Proven Protection Line

In addition, the integration of Ericsson Security Manager is already in progress on the IoTA platform – the company's well-proven bastion will also offer extensive security features, with real-time, automated network protection supported by risk-based security policies and artificial intelligence.

The artificial intelligence-based protection builds on behavioral analytics – it monitors homogeneous groups of devices, learns the usual characteristics of the group, and alerts you when a device exhibits behavior that is significantly different from its group. For example, if the system detects more unidirectional traffic than is usual in your environment, it can alert operators to a potential DoS attack. The development of such and similar services is now possible in Hungary as well, as Ericsson's Budapest team has also been participating in the international cooperation since the end of last year. The local team is constantly expanding, and is set to play an increasingly strategic role in the IoTA organization in the coming years.


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