IBM launches new security testing services for IoT, automotive

As the number of connected devices proliferates, security testing should occur completely through development to deployment, IBM says.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer on

IBM on Monday is launching new security services testing for Internet of Things (IoT) developers, as well as the automotive industry. The new services should help test the security of connected devices throughout development and deployment.

First, IBM is announcing that Watson IoT Platform is offering its customers services from IBM X-Force Red, its year-old security testing group. Some analysts have wondered whether Watson will pay off for IBM before other tech companies catch up in terms of their cognitive offerings. With this new service, IBM is trying to prove it's the best partner for enterprises that want to develop smart connected devices.

"It's not just about the technology, it is also about the global reach, investment, and collaborative approach which make IBM a trusted IoT partner for enterprise IoT solutions," James Murphy, offering manager for IBM Watson IoT Platform, said in a statement. "With IoT technologies permeating the farthest corners of industry, IBM is bringing our Watson IoT Platform and X-Force Red security talent together to address present and future concerns."

In a study IBM commissioned this year in conjunction with Arxan Technologies, the Ponemon Institute found that 58 percent of organizations only test their IoT applications during the production phase, leaving room for vulnerabilities to be introduced into existing systems. The new X-Force Red services IBM is offering bring an added layer of security and penetration testing to address that, with researchers testing backend processes, apps and physical hardware.

Meanwhile, the X-Force Red Group has also been building up a dedicated automotive practice, in order to help clients secure hardware, networks, applications and human interactions.

Given the huge number of interconnected components and systems in a modern car, connected vehicles can be seriously vulnerable. The X-Force Red group is aiming to influence best practices and standardize security protocols within the automotive industry. The group has worked with more than a dozen automotive manufacturers and third-party suppliers to build expertise and programmatic penetration testing and consulting services.

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