Securing the Internet of Things: Indo-German Exchange on Standards and Certification

Senior officials from the Indian Ministry of Electronics and IT, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)

Around 30 participants from the government, subordinate organisations, and the private sector discussed the role of standards and certification for the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices at an Indo-German expert workshop on 16 May 2019 in Mumbai. The expert workshop took place at the side-lines of it-sa India, India’s IT security expo and conference.


IoT devices – networked products and devices which are non-standard computers – are increasingly being used by individuals and companies across sectors. Whether in manufacturing, healthcare, smart home or interconnected vehicles, cyber security solutions are needed that prevent negative impacts for people’s health and privacy, business activities, the environment, and national security. Given the international relevance of IoT device security, India and Germany collaborate on effective responses by the public and private sectors.


The workshop was attended by senior officials from the Indian Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, the Indian Ministry of Electronics and IT, the Bureau of Indian Standards and representatives from German and Indian companies and industry associations. In his presentation, Dr Dennis-Kenji Kipker from the University of Bremen gave an overview of new regulations in Germany and the European Union (EU) related to the security of IoT devices.


The participants highlighted that consistent standards and regulations across countries are essential to avoid fragmentation, which create barriers for market access. Experts expressed that devices need security built in by design which can be ensured through adequate conformity assessment.


The workshop was the first exchange in a series of interactions which will lead to an Indo-German discussion paper on IoT device security. The discussion paper shall provide inputs to policymakers about regulations as well as developments in standardisation and certification in the EU, Germany, and India.


The event was organized on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, by GIZ – the German Agency for International Cooperation – in collaboration with the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) and the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC).


India and Germany cooperate within the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure between the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Indian Ministry for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution. The Working Group has the goal to reduce technical barriers to trade and strengthen product safety through political dialogue of relevant ministries and regulators. As part of the Global Project Quality Infrastructure (GPQI), GIZ has been commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to support the Working Group in India.


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