Intel securely automates IoT device onboarding

Guy Daniels
By Guy Daniels

Oct 3, 2017

© Intel

© Intel

  • Launches its Secure Device Onboard service
  • Zero Touch allows devices to dynamically discover the IoT platform
  • Uses Intel’s Enhanced Privacy ID to anonymously authenticate devices
  • Google, AWS and Microsoft will support the model

Amidst the turbulence of the Catalan independence elections, the annual IoT Solutions World Congress opens in Barcelona today. Those delegates that made it to the Fira (public transport was down to 25 per cent usual levels, protesters closed the Gran Via and many businesses went on strike) would have heard the news this morning that Intel has launched its Secure Device Onboard service.

It was refreshing to note that Intel is downgrading the industry’s earlier astronomical IoT deployment numbers, saying that the 50 million devices forecast for 2020 is more likely going to be 30 million. It blames the reality adjustment on the real-time issues of scaling deployments and IoT security. Hence the need to move from manual provisioning and management of devices to an automated system.

Intel says its Secure Device Onboard (SDO) technology securely automates and brings IoT devices online within seconds rather than hours. It is being offered to IoT platform providers as a service they can provide to customers who wish to onboard thousands of connected devices. A “zero touch” model allows devices to dynamically discover the customer’s IoT platform account at power-on for automatic registration. There is also no need to custom pre-load provisioning configurations for each IoT implementation.

The Intel SDO also uses the company’s privacy-preserving IoT identity solution, the Enhanced Privacy ID (EPID), to anonymously authenticate the device and establish an encrypted communication tunnel, thereby preventing hackers from tracing the device from factory to owner. Intel says EPID is now a proven method with over 2.7 billion keys distributed in Intel and non-Intel MCU processors since 2008.

Infineon is one of several silicon provider that will embed the EPID capability in their hardware, and cloud service providers like Google, AWS and Microsoft Azure intend to provide integration to support Intel SDO’s zero touch model, following the example of Wind River, whose latest release of Device Cloud includes zero touch onboarding.

NB-IoT deployment

In other IoT news this morning, Nokia and Zain say they have completed a trial of NB-IoT at a live site in the Mina area of Makkah Province in Saudi Arabia. In the trial, NB-IoT was applied to communicate temperature, humidity and air pressure from a remote location via a Nokia LTE base station at 900MHz, demonstrating the role NB-IoT could play in applications such as smart metering for electricity departments, smart parking and smart waste management.

“This trial is the first step in utilizing Zain's country-wide LTE network assets to create a cost-efficient IoT ecosystem and introduce new services,” said Ali Al Jitawi, head of the Zain Saudi Arabia customer team at Nokia. “NB-IoT will help connect numerous devices, opening revenue opportunities in many verticals including transport, manufacturing, healthcare, energy, agriculture and home appliances."

Email Newsletters

Sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos, plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox.