The Big Challenge for LPWAN? Security!

15th February 2017

The Big Challenge for LPWAN? Security!

With IoT, connectivity will continue to evolve to address the needs of various new use cases. With rapidly developing technologies such as LPWAN, the question for enhanced security is naturally raised.

The more mobile devices that are connected and new requirements are needed, the more technologies become available. One such relative newcomer is LPWAN (low‐power wide area network), a technology that complements the existing ones and also enables completely new applications. LPWAN IoT will capture a significant part of the IoT market with low cost devices and low cost infrastructure. There is no doubt that these low‐power networks will play an important role in the future because of several advantages. They build, for instance, on the idea of connecting low‐cost sensors over long distances in harsh environments or deep indoor penetration for smart meters.

Two major approaches have been developed:

  • Licensed bands: enhancements of existing 2G /3G / 4G networks. This approach is mainly supported by the operators (MNOs).


  • Unlicensed bands: here you find new specifications, such as LoRa, Sigfox, Weightlight and Ingenu. It is mainly used for private and local networks.

One of the most important requirements in connecting billions of “things” is security. This meaning a high security risk if nothing is done with these new upcoming IoT infrastructures, because of the high attack surface of multi‐billion endpoints. A LPWAN IoT endpoint identity is similar as an identity of a person. All security related transactions require a robust identity management solution as foundation.

As nationwide IoT networks are deployed, confidential data supporting critical functions requires secure communication. G+D Mobile Security provides security technologies that can be leveraged for life‐cycle management of the keys and its usage. Millions of devices are already connected, and it is expected that by 2020 we will have roughly 849 million connections using LPWAN.

What is LPWAN?

Low‐power WAN (LPWAN) is a wireless wide area network technology that specializes in interconnecting devices with low‐bandwidth connectivity, focusing on range and power efficiency. Low‐power WAN technologies are designed for machine‐to‐machine (M2M) networking environments.
With decreased power requirements, plus a longer range and lower cost than a mobile network, LPWANs are thought to enable a much wider range of M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) applications, which have been constrained by budgets and power issues. Source: TechTarget/IoT Agenda

Protecting mine workers

Partnered by turnkey solution provider Robbiot, G+D Mobile Security has developed the first project in the world to use additional security beyond LoRa WAN standards for critical IoT infrastructure deployments. Together, they have provided a LoRa module that can protect mine workers in hazardous areas to help prevent accidents. Alongside the mining company Massari Mineracao in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the module delivers continuous monitoring on a real‐time dashboard. The data transmitted from the module through the network and to the application dashboard is protected end‐to‐end with G+D Mobile Security’s key management technologies.

G+D Mobile Security is at the forefront of developing innovative and flexible solutions designed to meet the challenges of the connected society. We offer the tools that enable our customers to simplify and speed development whilst ensuring the security, reliability, power management and long life of LPWA applications. LPWA security needs to match the low‐cost structure adopted by the modules and ecosystem partners and we provide ways of making this happen. LPWAN technologies offer boundless and versatile connectivity options . G+D Mobile Security solutions are agnostic and so enable us to adapt to multiple use cases and verticals and collaborate with various partners. More about the case study.

The Big Challenge for LPWAN Security
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