New Report Outlines Security Considerations for LPWA Technology

May 8, 2017

Information security analysts, Franklin Heath, have released an independent report that compares and contrasts the security features of five different Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) network technologies for several typical IoT use cases such as Smart Agriculture, Smart Street Lighting, Smoke Detectors, Water Meters and Smart Meters. It assesses the security features of three 3GPP standardised Mobile IoT technologies that operate in licensed spectrum, LTE-M, NB-IoT and EC-GSM-IoT as well as unlicensed spectrum technologies LoRaWAN and Sigfox.

The detailed report, which can be downloaded here, argues that organisations must work out what level of security they need in addition to other considerations such as cost, long battery life and network coverage when considering a LPWA solution, it is still an important element that must be factored into any decision making process. It highlights how IoT security needs are driven largely by privacy and safety concerns and any deployment using LPWA technologies should be subject to a security risk assessment using tools such as the GSMA IoT Security Assessment.

Some important network security factors highlighted in the report that should be considered as part of any such assessment include:

  • Bandwidth, including Maximum Downlink and Uplink Data RatesThis may limit the security features that can be supported by the LPWA network or implemented in the application layer.
  • Daily Downlink and Uplink ThroughputLPWA devices do not typically transmit or receive data all of the time which can impact security features such as over-the-air security updates.
  • Authentication – Device, Subscriber and Network Secure network connectivity requires a number of different parties to authenticate themselves to each other such as the device, the subscriber and the network provider – the technology must protect against the ‘spoofing’ of these parties by malicious actors.
  • Data ConfidentialityEncryption is typically used to keep data safe from being intercepted by an attacker. Trust in this can be increased by establishing end-to-end security at the application layer.
  • Key Provisioning – Cryptographic techniques for authentication, confidentiality and integrity all rely on cryptographic keys being securely shared between parties.
  • Certified Equipment – In many markets there are legal requirement for devices with radio transmission to have approval or certification before being sold. This is an opportunity for security features to be verified.
  • IP NetworkUse of IP can open up the possibility of attack on devices from the internet and IP security features must be considered.

The report concludes that Mobile IoT technologies, such as LTE-M and NB-IoT support the necessary security features to provide adequate security for all of the use case examples. Noting that some of these security features are optional and must be enabled by the network operator.

The report stresses that following security guidelines, such as the GSMA IoT Security Guidelines, can help companies deploying IoT sevices ensure that they are making the right technology choices and are aware of the security implications of their approach.

To download the report go here. Follow these links to find out more about the GSMA’s work on LPWA networks and IoT Security.

Back

LTE-M Deployment Guide LTE-M (LTE-MTC low power wide area (LPWA)) is a new cellular radio access technology specified by 3GPP in Release 13 to address the fast-expanding market for low power wide area ...

Read more | See all Resources

Video: Smart London – Air Quality Monitoring with IoT Big Data Poor air quality in London and many other cities is causing an acknowledged public health problem. Air pollution is now the world’s fourth-leading fatal health risk, causing on...

Read more | See all Resources

GSMA Regulatory Position on Drones This consultation response explains the benefits of cellular connectivity in more detail before identifying potential barriers to cellular connectivity that regulators should be ...

Read more | See all Resources

NB-IoT Deployment Guide This GSMA document is the first edition of the NB-IoT Deployment Guide for mobile network operators and application service providers. It identifies a minimum set of key NB-IoT ...

Read more | See all Resources

Video: The 4th GSMA Global Mobile IoT Summit Held shortly after the launch of Mobile IoT networks in China, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the USA, the 4th GSMA Global Mobile IoT Summit featured some of the industry...

Read more | See all Resources

The GSMA Webinar Series 2017-2018 Mobile IoT (licensed spectrum low power wide area) networks are a high-growth area of the IoT and will play an important role in connecting up billions of new devices. Over 40 su...

Read more | See all Resources

Four Years From Now: a Glimpse into the Near Future of Mobile IoT 2017 was the year Mobile IoT became a commercial reality.  Connectivity to the Internet of Things through LPWA in licensed spectrum – the most secure and reliable means to do ...

Read more | See all Industry News

Simplicity the key to Growth in Mobile IoT say Operators Mobile IoT is now a commercial reality. 38 operators globally offer solutions through LPWA in licensed spectrum; there are now 15 commercially-launched networks, and 26 Mobile Io...

Read more | See all Industry News

AT&T Hackathon Yields Solutions in IoT from Infrastructure to Bicycles Among the most stimulating events in the lead-up to the Mobile World Congress was the Developer Hackathon. In partnership with AT&T, a special weekend session dedicated to th...

Read more | See all Industry News

GSMA Highlights US$1.8 Trillion IoT Revenue Opportunity for Mobile Network Opera London: The GSMA today announced that mobile network operators are set to benefit from an estimated US$1.8 trillion Internet of Things (IoT) revenue opportunity by 2026 boosted ...

Read more | See all Industry News

The Connected Bicycle Solution That’s Making our Cities Smarter Among the more rapid developments in IoT since the 2016 Mobile World Congress has been the progress made by Ulster-based tech start-up See.Sense. Since making their first demonst...

Read more | See all Industry News

GSMA Mobile IoT Innovators Showcase at 4YFN – MWC Americas 09:00-17:00, 12 – 14 September, Moscone Center, South Hall, 2300A The Development Cycle of Mobile IoT From stand-alone modules and development kits to companies at various st...

Read more | See all Industry News

Webinar: Mobile IoT (LPWA) for Utilities September 27, 2017 Mobile IoT technologies, also known as low power wide area (LPWA), serve a diverse range of vertical industries and applications that use low data rates, require long b...

Read more | See all Connected Living Events

Smart Cities Week October 03, 2017 Strengthening City Service Delivery with Mobile Networks The GSMA’s Smart Cities Lead Neill Young will be speaking the Smart Cities Week on 4th October. In this p...

Read more | See all Connected Living Events

GSMA IoT in European Utility Week October 03, 2017 Sponsored by Huawei, GSMA is thrilled to join and exhibit in European Utility Week in Amsterdam on 3-5 October 2017, to showcase Mobile IoT solutions to more than 12,00...

Read more | See all Connected Living Events

Webinar: Mobile IoT (LPWA) for Smart Cities October 25, 2017 REGISTER NOW Mobile IoT, also known as Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) in licensed spectrum, is ideal for smart cities solutions. Benefited from its low power consumption, l...

Read more | See all Connected Living Events

International Advanced Mobility Forum 2017 November 30, 2017 The connected vehicle market is one of the highest growth areas of the Internet of Things, with a potential application revenue of $USD 253 billion by 2025 (Machina Res...

Read more | See all Connected Living Events

Contact GSMA Legal Email Preference Centre Copyright © 2017 GSMA. GSM and the GSM Logo are registered and owned by the GSMA.