As The IoT Grows & The Stakes Rise, Senet and Gemalto Partner To Secure Wide Area Networks

By Special Guest
Cynthia Artin, Special Correspondent
September 07, 2016

In a first of its kind integration, Gemalto, a global digital security company, and Senet, the first company to deliver public, low-power, wide area-networks in the US announced today they have partnered to develop a new level of security for LoRaWAN connected devices. 

Wide-Area Networks (WANS) have been around for decades but what makes Low-Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) unique is their ability to support battery-operated connected things, which are contributing to the ongoing exponential growth of the IoT. 

The companies are integrating Senet’s open, standards-based network with Gemalto’s Trusted Key Manager which streamlines and secures key provisioning and authentication. Along with a secure network, the devices now can be equally protected against tampering and threats. Applications and solutions providers are now able to offer much more secure and compliant platforms, products and services with the harmonization created by Senet and Gemalto’s collaboration. 

End-to-end device security and privacy, in concert with network security, has been a challenge and concern for those companies developing, rolling out and managing IoT systems. With Gemalto’s embedded technologies, mass producers of devices can now offer cloud-based provisioning, deployment and management in a way that was not possible before. 

“Our customers and partners who sell to large enterprises implementing IoT solutions are asking for increasing levels of security, end-to-end, from the device to the network to the application,” said Will Yap, VP, Business Development, Senet. “Gemalto is the global leader in IoT device security on cellular networks, so it only made sense to tap into their experience and track record to provide the same security solutions on LoRa networks. We are very proud of this collaboration with a successful integration that is now production ready and being rolled out into the market including to network service providers who see this as a huge step forward in operationalizing IoT on a much bigger scale than we’ve seen to date.” 

The standardization has in part been led by the LoRa Alliance as an increasing number of entrepreneurs and vendors are signing up to create an environment where IoT is no longer a “science experiment” but can be massively deployed globally, creating the scale needed to justify further investment in the world of connected things.  

Juan Carlos Lazcano, Vice President of M2M for North America at Gemalto said, “We are committed to providing LoRaWAN service providers globally with the best-of-breed solutions for securely provisioning and authenticating IoT devices on their networks. With Senet being the first and only public LoRaWAN service provider in North America, partnering with them was key to our North American market strategy.”

“Partnering with Senet, as the first and only public LoRaWAN provider in the US, is an important part of our growth strategy in North America, and globally,” said Loic Bonvarlet, Product Marketing Director, M2M Services and Solutions, Gemalto. “We are able to bring the best practices we’ve established in the cellular industry to this new network model, and whether it is securing data, payments, or other sensitive information, given the provisioning of discrete keys for every individual device, and making the registration and management of those devices more efficient through software and automation of the workflow means IoT can truly scale into deployments touching hundreds of thousands and even millions of devices.” 

This new development is designed to leverage the hardware security module Gemalto uses to generate and store keys that can be pushed to device makers so they can embed the keys into devices for their customers.  The network service provider or systems integrator can complete the provisioning with a full back office. This contributes to the “end-to-end” securitization at all levels – device, application and infrastructure. 

“Our on-boarding process is straightforward,” Bonvarlet added. “Compared to complex, manual and often vulnerable processes in the past, Gemalto’s platform sets up a back office link with manufacturing facility, and keys can be created en masse, pushed to devices, and managed across supply chains. Applications providers can claim the devices created and secured for their specific applications with the flexibility to provision across multiple customers in multiple geographies depending on their distribution and customers’ needs.” 

Given the nature of this solution and the combination of device security with LoRaWAN networks, the companies for see increasing demand coming from Tier One telecom network service providers who are increasingly seeing local low power networks as complementary to their cellular and IP networks. 

While large carriers in the US are moving more slowly, given their massive investments in LTE, there are some indications they recognize that not one size fits all, nor does one network technology, particularly in rural areas where LTE coverage will be difficult to prove out as an ROI. 

The economic questions are clear – the Tier Ones in the US plan on charging for telemetry data to travel over their billable networks, even as they realize their LTE CAT-M1 and CAT-M2 solutions are not ready for prime time. They can't afford to let the USA IoT market adopt LoRaWAN as the network of choice, and now with increasing investment by companies like Gemalto and Senet in maturing the technology and successfully delivering secure and cost effective LoRa networks in other large countries, the debate may shift as we head into 2017.

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