HARMAN Spark certified secure by CTIA

CTIA’s Internet of Things Cybersecurity Certification Program began accepting devices for certification in October 2018. The HARMAN Spark is an aftermarket telematics device that plugs into the on-board diagnostics (OBD-II) port of vehicles manufactured after 1996 and turns them into connected cars. It received certification this March. The Spark was tested at the Ericsson Device and Application Verification lab in Richardson, Texas. 

According to CTIA, its IoT Cybersecurity Certification Program helps device suppliers, enterprises, and government organizations ensure that cellular-connected devices have appropriate security capabilities. The certification process includes verifying the device security features against a set of standard cybersecurity best practices addressing the storage of consumers’ information, rigorous password and security management standards, and the availability of an over-the-air mechanism for security software updates.

Device manufacturers may seek one of three levels of certification, depending on the sophistication of the device and the security characteristics desired or needed for its use.

HARMAN is a Samsung company. The Spark, it claims, “is an easy-to-use connected car device and app that provides emergency crash assistance, vehicle diagnostics, location information, roadside assistance manager and more.  It can also turn your car into a powerful Wi-Fi hotspot.” It’s made available exclusively by AT&T and costs $4.00 per month or $79.00 outright through AT&T.

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Mark Miller is a contributing writer to SAE International. He has worked as a technology writer and editor for IBM and other advanced information technology firms. His areas of concentration include artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, analytics and Internet of Things technologies.