One of the areas of focus for CableLabs, the cable industry’s research and development group, is in how to improve the security of internet of things devices — both those that are already in users’ homes, and those that will emerge in the near future.

Brian Scriber, principal architect at CableLabs, recently spoke with RCR Wireless News about CableLabs’ work in this area, as well as in privacy and in the role of blockchain. At the recent SCTE ISBE Cable-Tec Expo, CableLabs announced its “micronets” approach to IoT security, which Scriber described as software-defined networking based in the customer premise equipment that examines device behavior and traffic and identifies suspicious device behavior..

The micronets approach looks at groups of devices based on type, he said, to identify unusual traffic and “make sure that if a device does get compromised, that it can’t be used as the platform to attack other devices in the same home.” CableLabs is also working with the Open Connectivity Foundation and its IoTivity project on open-source security for providing a minimum level of security — as well as interoperability — that can be built in to IoT devices.

Scriber also discussed his work in the areas of privacy — which is becoming more regulated, both with the impact of Europe’s GDPR and a similar, recent law in California.

“We’re seeing privacy in the regulatory environment, so it’s time to start bringing a lot of those ideas and some of the work that we’ve been doing at CableLabs to bear, and making those tools available to our members and to make sure that customers in the cable ecosystem are protected as well,” Scriber said.

Watch the full interview with Scriber below:



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