As the leading IoT standards body, Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) continues to address the needs of the IoT, providing industry-leading connectivity and best-in-class security.
To continue building upon OCF’s security framework, the recently completed OCF 2.2.1 specification now includes new support for end-to-end encryption leveraging open (IETF) standards. This encryption works to prevent third parties from accessing data while it’s transferred from one end system or device to another. With this update, IoT device users can be confident that the data sent through their OCF devices is protected and private.
Utilizing Object Security for Constrained RESTful Environments (OSCORE), specified by IETF, OCF 2.2.1 provides an additional layer of protection, securing data from the source device to its intended destination. While many systems claim to provide end-to-end security, they only provide security from Devices to the Cloud. In this case, the user must rely on the Cloud Provider to ensure their messages are not being altered or compromised, which can leave users wary.
The release of OCF 2.2.1 marks the first industry support of true end-to-end security. Rather than solely addressing device to cloud communications, OCF’s end-to-end encryption provides security for device-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud device interactions. With end-to-end encryption and the OCF Universal Cloud Interface (UCI), OCF’s open cloud API, users no longer have to rely on the Cloud Provider to keep their data confidential.
To further enable the ability to securely communicate with end devices, the OCF specification includes added support for the Simple Secure Multicast (SSM). SSM was created to address new use cases that require a single action to control multiple devices. For example, if an end user would like to use a single light to illuminate an entire hallway of lights, SSM enables a multicast message to be sent to a group of devices (lights), allowing all devices to turn on/off at the same time. Readers can learn more about SSM feature by reading the SSM white paper.
In addition to providing end-to-end encryption and simple secure multicast, OCF 2.2.1 also includes support for:
- Provisioning of eSIM based devices
- New Resource types covering civic location, sound measurement and color definition
- Ability to provide the physical location of a device via meta-information
- Support for additional diagnostic information in error cases that can be carried over device to cloud to device
With a number of IoT solutions on the market, manufacturers are left with the decision to choose which solution fits their specific needs. With this new specification release, OCF makes this decision process easier, as it is the only standard to provide complete end-to-end secure communication for device-to-device, device-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud interactions.