Guest Author 09-27-2023

DigiCert Trust Summit Preview with Stacey Higginbotham: Navigating IoT's Future with Matter Protocol

Stacey Higginbotham

This weekend, I spent a few hours cleaning out my smart home gear. I dumped a few smart plugs and an air quality monitoring device that wasn’t getting new security updates. I also looked up the security update plans for some of the oldest devices on my network — an original Alexa smart speaker from 2014 and my Philips Hue gear. Most consumers aren’t going to go through these sorts of exercises when it comes to making sure their video doorbells, smart TVs, light bulbs and thermostats are still secure.

And it’s my hope that one day the industry will make efforts like mine obsolete, thanks to smart security requirements built into federal regulations or smart home standards. 

IoT device security got a big boost last year with the launch of the Matter smart home interoperability standard. Not only will certain IoT devices interoperate, but they will also be more secure. The Matter standard, designed for a variety of connected devices such as smart speakers, TVs, locks, thermostats and more, required manufacturers to embed essential security features into their products. And while Matter adoption is only at the very early stages, the security requirements are already affecting how manufacturers design their products.

Advocating strongly for security has also pushed IoT device security to the forefront of a national cybersecurity conversation. In July, the White House launched a plan to create a cybersecurity label for connected consumer devices that will almost certainly incorporate some of the elements already part of the Matter standard. It may also go even further.

So I expect to hear a lot about connected device security in the coming year thanks to Matter and the new federal labeling program. Why not get smart about it now at DigiCert’s Trust Summit, where I’ll host a panel with executives building both smart home devices and the infrastructure to enable Matter’s security requirements.

We’ll discuss what Matter specifically requires for device makers, and how that helps advance security in the smart home. Some of my favorite Matter security requirements include encryption for local device communications on the network, requiring over-the-air software updates, and the adoption of public key infrastructure to authenticate Matter devices on the network. There are still plenty of areas where Matter security will improve as new versions of the specification launch, but almost one year in, we’ve seen millions of certificates issued and the beginnings of a new, more secure smart home infrastructure.

We’ll hear from Kevin Kraus, V.P. Technology Alliances and IoT Business Development for Yale and August Residential Electronic Lock Business, who has had to navigate both physical and digital security needs for the connected lock business; Mike Dow, senior manager, Security and Services Product Management at chipmaker Silicon Labs who will talk about the hardware requirements that will give an IoT product the best security for today and in the future; Sam Gabbay, President and Co-founder of TUO Accessories, whose startup is betting big on Matter; and Chris LaPre from the Connectivity Standards Alliance."

Security is only going to be more important, and more in the news, so get ahead of the conversation on Oct. 17 at DigiCert’s Trust Summit. We’ll discuss the impacts of Matter on the overall smart home industry, how Matter is changing the security requirements of connected devices, where the standard will head next, and how this will play out against a larger focus on cybersecurity in industry and in governments. Because no one wants to spend a Saturday afternoon looking up security plans for dozens of connected devices.

Register now for the DigiCert Trust Summit


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