The aptly named IoT Cybersecurity Unit leverages the carrier’s existing network infrastructure and its IoT connectivity management platform, Kite Platform. It aims to expand Telefónica’s existing catalogue of IoT products and services and develop new security products that address threats faced by businesses deploying IoT.
As part of the new initiative, Telefónica’s ElevenPaths security unit expanded it collaboration with Subex, a telecom analytics provider. Subex’s IoT platform analyzes traffic by applying machine-learning algorithms and generates an alert every time it detects a threat.
The partners already offer a fraud management service. Under the new initiative, the companies will also analyze network traffic generated by IoT devices to improve threat detection.
It’s a smart move for the carrier given its existing network visibility and security capabilities — and the explosion of network-connected devices that is already underway. It can be difficult to secure these devices, many of which come with minimal built-in security, and this makes them an easy target for hackers.
In fact, Nokia’s latest Threat Intelligence Report found IoT botnet activity represented 78% of malware detection events in communication service provider networks in 2018. This is more than double the rate in 2016 when botnets were first seen in significant numbers — IoT botnets accounted for 33% that year.
Because of this growing threat and the changing security landscape, companies (and investors) are basically throwing money at IoT security. Startup Armis this week said it raised $65 million to expand its device security platform. The Series C investment followed a $30 million Series B round just a year ago.
Microsoft also recently launched a bunch of new services and capabilities to secure Azure-connected IoT devices and workloads. And at MWC Barcelona in late February, Arm pushed further into IoT, announcing new partnerships with Vodafone and China Unicom and a security certification process for IoT devices.