Amsterdam and Jerusalem – April 20, 2021 – Amsterdam-based smart home company Gamgee, and Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, announced today a partnership to develop machine learning algorithms that enable seamless identification of multi-vendor IoT devices to better protect and integrate diverse systems.
The two parties aim to develop a technology that overcomes MAC address randomization for identification purposes while maintaining high standards of data privacy.
The ability to identify and authenticate devices on the home network is the cornerstone for the smooth and secure operation of smart home networks. As the complexity of the digital ecosystem at home grows, quality identification and authentication of devices is fundamental for assuring full protection, easy management of the network and outstanding digital user experience.
While previously the industry relied on MAC addresses for identification and authentication purposes, this has been hampered by forced randomization of MAC addresses pursued by several tech companies.
“The supposed goal of the randomization of the digital identity of connected smart devices is to improve data privacy. However, randomizing a few smart devices has practical implications for the other (IoT) devices and Wi-Fi network in the home. It restrains the quality of digital services, impedes inter-device operability and – paradoxically – impairs cybersecurity. Due to the randomization, other vendor appliances – such as light bulbs, speakers, or cameras – would remain unidentified and unverified, turning them into a potential gateway for illicit users to the otherwise protected smart home environment,” explains Shaul Levi, the Chief Innovation Officer of Gamgee.
Prof. David Hay, head of the Federmann Cyber Security Research Center, and his team at Hebrew University’s Selim and Rachel Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering, will be collaborating with Gamgee to help solve the problem of security for IoT devices.
“Gamgee, along with the researchers of Hebrew University, are developing AI-driven lightweight algorithms that are able to identify, authenticate and protect all connected devices on the home network – regardless of the type of device or the vendor,” adds Levi. “Through this collaboration we envision a world where consumers enjoy complete, integrated, multi-vendor interoperable smart home networks that do not leave in doubt the privacy and protection of consumers’ data.”
“We’re very pleased to have been able to connect Gamgee with Prof. David Hay and to facilitate a collaboration that can be mutually beneficial,” said Dr. Itzik Goldwaser, CEO of Yissum. “We were able to find a way for a midsize company to be able to enjoy the technological edge of academic research and reap the economic advantages of such a collaboration. We look forward to facilitating similar collaborations in the future.”