The Z-Wave Alliance, an open consortium of global companies deploying the Z-Wave smart home standard, announced Sunday that it will require strict and uniform adoption of a new security protocol for all Z-Wave devices receiving certification beginning Sunday.
The Alliance Board of Directors voted unanimously last November to require mandatory implementation of the new Security 2 (S2) framework, the most advanced security for smart home devices and controllers, gateways and hubs in the market.
According to a 2016 AT&T study, 58 percent of companies reported they were not confident in the security of connected devices. Other consumer studies have shown that security and privacy is a major concern among those looking to adopt smart home.
The industry focus on IoT security continues to amplify and existing milestone demonstrates Z-Wave’s early leadership role in the space. The Z-Wave Alliance has been working for several years with chipmaker Sigma Designs to develop world-class security standards for all Z-Wave devices as IoT expands into homes around the globe.
The Z-Wave S2 framework was developed in conjunction with the cybersecurity expert community to give the already secure Z-Wave devices new levels of impenetrability.
By securing communication both locally for home-based devices and in the hub or gateway for cloud functions, S2 also virtually removes the risk of devices being hacked while they are included in the network. By using a QR or pin-code on the device itself the devices are uniquely authenticated to the network as well.
Common hacks such as man in the middle and brute force are virtually powerless against the S2 framework through the implementation of the industry-wide accepted secure key exchange using Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH). Finally, Z-Wave also strengthened its cloud communication, enabling the tunnelling of all Z-Wave over IP (Z/IP) traffic through a secure TLS 1.1 tunnel, removing vulnerability.
“We are absolutely committed to making Z-Wave the safest, most secure ecosystem of smart devices on the global market,” commented Mitchell Klein, executive director of the Z-Wave Alliance. “Our work, in conjunction with the entire Alliance membership, will ensure that developers, service providers, manufacturers and consumers alike will look to Z-Wave as the most trusted solution with the highest levels of protection.”
As ofSunday, Z-Wave’s technical certification program, which is administered through third party test facilities in Europe, US and Asia, will check that all S2 security solutions, which contain rules for command classes, timers and device types are correctly implemented in every new certified device. S2 devices will also be backwards compatible with existing devices.