The Z-Wave Alliance has been focused on IoT security since connected devices started running on home networks a decade or more ago.
Raoul Wijgergangs, vice president of the Z-Wave Business Unit at Sigma Designs, says while the recent attack on DNS provider Dyn has increased IoT security's visibility, the Z-Wave Alliance has been working on S2, it's new security standard, for the past four years.
“We've been working on S2 long before the Dyn attacks became big news,” he explains. “While we've had strong security in our Z-Wave chips for several years, the goal now is to make security easy and a no-brainer so all the manufacturers will build security into their products.”
Z-Wave has become one of the leading IoT chipsets over the past decade. Today, there are close to 1,500 certified interoperable products worldwide with an installed based of more than 50 million smart home devices.
Wijgergangs says the S2 framework, which becomes mandatory in all Z-Wave certified devices beginning on April 2, 2017, offers the following features:
Portability. The new S2 security software will run on existing Z-Wave IoT chipsets. For example, it is backward compatible with all Sigma Designs 500 Series chips.
Optimized packet flow. The S2 software has been designed to optimize packet flow so manufacturers don't need to spend extra money on chip memory.
Ease of use. Sigma Designs has bundled the code with security keys so manufacturers don't have to go through any extra steps to build in security.“We've taken all the complex work out of building security into chips,” says Wijgergangs. “All of the security information is now part of the S2 protocol built into the chip.”