Industry group CTIA announced a Cybersecurity Certification Program for cellular IoT devices with the aim of protecting consumers and infrastructure, while creating a secure foundation for applications including smart cities and connected cars.

The initiative was backed by Ericsson, Nokia, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T.

In a statement, the group said the initiative “is the first of its kind to be developed in collaboration with nationwide wireless providers”. It is based on IoT security recommendations from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration; and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Tom Sawanobori, CTIA SVP and CTO said the programme “harnessess CTIA’s network of authorised labs and reflects our commitment to securing networks and devices in an increasingly connected wireless world”.

Meanwhile AT&T’s VP of product development for IoT Solutions, Cameron Coursey, described the move as a “critical initiative as the IoT market continues to grow exponentially”, both in the US and globally. Tomas Ageskog, head of digital services at Ericsson North America, said the “scalable and standards-aligned” programme complements Ericsson’s secure-by-design approach.

IoT security has long been a concern for the industry. Earlier this year, a senior director at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers said the implementation of IoT standards could go a long way to solving ongoing concerns around security, a problem set to grow in line with rising numbers of companies and connected devices.