Cascoda and OCF
Cascoda joined the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) in 2019, and we have since pioneered the development of OCF-over-Thread and taken the position of Vice-Chair of the Marketing Communications Work Group. Cascoda is currently involved in drafting new specification features for the use of OCF on bandwidth and resource-constrained devices.
The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) is a standards organization that develops application-layer IoT protocols, based on the Internet Protocol (IP), using strong open standards. IoTivity is the open source reference implementation of the OCF specification. IoTivity provides a framework for device discovery, onboading, end-to-end security (and optionally, data models), for device-to-device and device-to-cloud connectivity. OCF is published as a ISO/IEC specification, and there is a comprehensive certification program in place.
OCF, as an IP-based application layer, ensures that the data sent over the internet, whether device to device, or device to cloud, cannot be read or modified by anyone except the desired recipient. This security system is called end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption is important, because information exchange over the internet may pass through the networks of intermediary organisations such as telecom and internet providers in multiple jurisdictions worldwide.
OCF achieves end-to-end encryption using a set of policies and procedures known as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). PKI defines how to employ public and private digital certificates to perform end-to-end encryption. OCF employs a communications protocol known as Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) to exchange PKI public key certificates between the OCF client and OCF server. Both the OCF client and server then use the public key certificates of the respective recipient to securely encrypt the data to be sent, such that the recipient is the only one that can read it.
The OCF specification maps to the IoT baseline security capabilities consensus outlined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), as described here.