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Omantel becomes among the global leaders in securing IoT after adopting GSMA guidelines

Omantel – a premier provider of telecommunication services and smart solutions in the Sultanate – continues to pave the way for a thriving digital society. 

With the Sultanate working towards achieving ‘Oman 2040’ vision, Omantel has been making its best efforts to setup a full-fledged digital ecosystem, this includes improving the security standards for Internet of Things (IoT) which is deemed necessary for vital projects, such as smart cities and e-government, to operate safely. 

In a major achievement, the company has announced the implementation of a set of best practices for the secure design, development and deployment of IoT services as per GSMA IoT Security Guidelines and Assessment Scheme. This step puts Omantel among one of the first 15 network operators globally to adopt those best practices. 

Abdullah Al Barwani, General Manager at Omantel’s Corporate Security Unit, said “Having deep and full understanding of challenges related to security of the IoT as well as issues that arise from unregulated and unstandardized approaches to security problems, Omantel has decided to embrace and follow the guidelines, controls and best practices for securing IoT developed by the GSMA,” 

“Omantel’s Corporate Security Unit has worked closely with the GSMA, and today we are pleased to formally announce our commitment which will help to secure the IoT ecosystem.” He affirmed. 

The Internet of Things is the network of devices such as vehicles, and home appliances that contain electronics, software, actuators, and connectivity which allows these things to connect, interact and exchange data. According to GSMA, there will be 25.3 billion IoT connections by 2025 worldwide, paving the way for smart cities, more efficient transportation and revolutionized healthcare.

“Without adequate security, the huge potential of the IoT to enhance our lives through the development of smart cities, connected cars, smart healthcare and Industry 4.0 will not be realized,” explains Muhammad Moqeet ur Rab, Senior Manager of Security Architecture and Operations at Omantel. 

On how important IoT security is for smart cities, he commented “Having adequate IoT security is absolutely essential for smart cities as such projects must remain secure at all times. The GSMA IoT Security specifically focus on how to ensure the security of IoT services in a low cost and low power consumption manner, which had always been a challenge. Moreover, it helps in having a long-lived security and protecting devices that are physically accessible to the attacker. As an example, having a proper IoT security in a connected car can potentially prevent hackers. Additionally, the GSMA IoT Security ensures that all partners in a smart city, of which there will be many, are compliant to the security guidelines both from a product and organizational perspective.” 

Large enterprises, SMEs, public and private organizations can all avail IoT security “The GSMA IoT Security Guidelines suit all types of IoT products and services from all sizes and types of organization,” noted Moqeet. 

Through its expansive network and strong partnerships, Omantel leads the digital transformation in the country, ensuring that the most advanced technologies and digital solutions are within reach for large enterprises and SMEs alike to operate more effectively and make the most out of their investments.