Converged underlines cyber security commitment with IoT assessor status 

John Gillies (cyber security assessor, Converged Communication Solutions)

A SCOTTISH IT, cyber security and internet service provider has underlined its commitment to supporting companies to strengthen their cyber defences with its latest digital accreditation.

Converged Communication Solutions joins a small band of around 30 UK tech firms to hold IASME (Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprises) Internet of Things (IoT) Certification Body status.  It allows the firm, which has offices in Aberdeen and Inverness, to assess and verify the security capabilities of internet-connected devices being manufactured and used by companies.

John Gillies, the firm’s lead cyber security assessor, has become a certified IoT Assessor – one of only a handful of people in Scotland to currently hold the accreditation.  It means that the firm can provide certification to IoT providers and manufacturers to demonstrate that their devices are fitted with important security controls.  With the digitisation of the oil field, this could include vetting pumps used offshore, and capable of sending real-time data back to shore, to ensure they have relevant cyber protections in place.

With technology in greater use in the home and across all industries, it has been estimated that there could be up to 50 billion internet connectable products in use globally by 2030.  Reports in 2021 that smart devices, such as cameras and baby monitors, could be at risk from hackers highlighted the potential security vulnerabilities of such appliances.

Outside of the home, IoT devices are commonly used in business, with sectors such as energy and agriculture using internet-connected sensors, gauges and valves to relay data from the field to the office.  If left unsecured, IoT devices may be susceptible to cyber breaches that could subsequently impact company systems. While traditional certification such as Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001 cover most risks around cyber, they do not extend to the supply chains exposure to IoT risks and this new IASME standard will help to mitigate that.

Illustrating the importance being placed on the security of IoT devices, the Product Security and Telecommunications (PSTI) Bill currently going through the Houses of Parliament contains a section devoted to the subject.  The UK government legislation aims to ensure that consumer products with internet connectivity, including smart TVs, web cameras and speakers, are secure against cyber-attacks to protect privacy and security.

Neil Christie, managing director of Converged Communication Solutions, said: “Technology is playing a greater role in our lives than ever before, both at home and in the workplace.  It is imperative that every internet-connected device we use has the appropriate security protections in place to prevent any cyber breaches.  The legislation currently going through the Houses of Parliament will help ensure that.”

“As a business, Converged is committed to playing its part in assisting industry to bolster their cyber defences and verifying the security of IoT devices will be a key part of this. Gaining the IASME IoT certification standard at an early stage in its implementation underlines this promise and further strengthens the capabilities of our cyber security team.”

Converged Communication Solutions is an independent, Aberdeen-headquartered IT and cyber security provider.  Established in 2005, the company offers an integrated range of Internet connectivity, IT support, telephony and cyber security services to companies and organisations across Scotland.  It employs around 30 staff, which includes strong technical support and cyber security teams.  Converged is a Certification Body for the Cyber Essentials Plus and Cyber Essentials standards, an assessor for the IASME Governance Standard and an official partner of CityFibre’s Aberdeen project.  More information about Converged Communication Solutions is available at www.converged.co.uk or telephoning 01224 656380.

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