Palo Alto Networks, Symantec, Trustonic also among founding members of new IoT Cybersecurity Alliance.

AT&T and a group of major IT and telco vendors have formed a new industry body to address cybersecurity issues related to the Internet of Things.

Called the IoT Cybersecurity Alliance, the group also includes IBM, Nokia, Palo Alto Networks, plus security specialists Symantec and Trustonic.

"Today’s businesses are connecting devices ranging from robots on factory floors to pacemakers and refrigerators. Helping these organisations stay protected requires innovation across the whole IoT ecosystem," said Mo Katibeh, SVP of advanced solutions at AT&T, in a statement on Wednesday.

AT&T said that over the last three years it has seen a 3,198% increase in attackers scanning for vulnerabilities in IoT devices. The IoT Cybersecurity Alliance’s stated mission is to research and raise awareness of better ways to secure the IoT ecosystem, thereby thwarting any ne’er-do-wells.

More specifically, the group will research security challenges across different IoT verticals and use cases, such as connected car, smart city, industrial, and healthcare. Security issues will be addressed at every layer, including endpoint, connectivity, cloud, and data/application layers.

The group also aims to make IoT security easily accessible across the ecosystem, and will engage with policymakers and other organisations to drive awareness of IoT security issues.

"Be it a connected car, pacemaker or coffee maker, every connected device is a potential new entry point for cyberattacks," said AT&T chief security officer Bill O’Hern. "Yet, each device requires very different security considerations. It’s become essential for industry leaders and innovators like those in the founding members of this Alliance, to work together to help the industry find more holistic security approaches for IoT."