Alexa, what’s
the weather like?

Annual Report
2020 - 2021

Amazon Alexa →→→ Amazon’s Echo smart speaker and its virtual assistant “Alexa” have become household names. More than 100 million Alexa-enabled devices have been sold – not just by Amazon but also by other companies. However, what about data safety and cyber security? Well, DEKRA is taking care of it.

SOUTH-WEST EUROPE

ALEXA

DATA SAFETY

Owing to its expertise, experience, and reliability, DEKRA was chosen as the first laboratory in the world to be authorized for both device testing and security assessments for the Alexa Voice Service. In May 2020, DEKRA passed the respective audits by the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) team and was recognized as an Authorized Test Lab (ATL) and as an Authorized Security Lab (ASL). Since then, the products of more than 20 original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers, and system integrators have been tested.

The AVS enables device makers to integrate Alexa into a variety of products, from smartphones and smart speakers to home appliances and wearables. However, with the introduction of new voice-forward products, device makers need to prove the security of their cloud-connected devices. That is where DEKRA comes into play. As an ASL for Alexa, DEKRA offers three device evaluation programs (see box).

LABORATORY

»The expansion of our Authorized Test Lab locations is an important
step in our cooperation with Amazon and enables us to offer these
services close to our customers in Asia, too.«

Fernando E. Hardasmal
[Executive Vice President and
Head of Service Division Product Testing at DEKRA]

“The security tests and assessments were initially performed in our lab in Malaga, Spain,” explains Fernando E. Hardasmal, Executive Vice President and Head of Service Division Product Testing at DEKRA. The lab in Malaga provides a wide range of testing and certification services. In addition, manufacturers can obtain further services, such as regulatory services, type approval, wireless testing, and global market access.

In fact, DEKRA in Malaga offers all testing and certification services required to launch an Internet of Things (IoT) device to any market. “We selected DEKRA for our AVS certification because it was very responsive to all requests and questions. We also chose DEKRA as all discussions with them showed a deep knowledge of the Alexa Voice Service and all related topics,” says Reinhard Lueling from Discvision, a provider of voice-controlled home media solutions in Germany.

CERTIFICATION

»We selected DEKRA for our AVS certification because it was very responsive to all requests and questions. We also chose DEKRA as all discussions with them showed a deep knowledge of the Alexa Voice Service and all related topics.«
Reinhard Lueling
[Discvision, Germany]

Understanding the device ecosystem

The AVS consists of a collection of tools, APIs, reference solutions, and documentation to make it easier to build for Alexa. “Alexa built-in devices offer multiple advantages, increase connectivity, automate processes, but at the same time increase exposure to possible external attacks,” explains Fernando E. Hardasmal. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate security by understanding the ecosystem surrounding the devices – how everything works together. DEKRA tests and certifies products according to the requirements, including hardware, firmware, communications, mobile application, and web and cloud services.

At the end of 2020, more DEKRA laboratories joined the company’s test lab network. The locations in Hong Kong (China), Yongin (South Korea), and Yokohama (Japan) have become ATLs for Alexa built-in devices.

 

The global DEKRA lab network provides a comprehensive all-in-one testing and certification solution for IoT devices, covering the most relevant mobile and wireless technologies worldwide. “The expansion of the ATL locations is a very important step in our cooperation with Amazon and enables us to offer these services close to our customers in Asia, too,” says Fernando E. Hardasmal.

As an ATL lab for AVS, DEKRA uses test automation and a series of checklists provided by Amazon to ensure that products meet acoustics, music, functional, as well as user experience (UX) requirements. DEKRA generates certification test results in the form of Alexa Qualification Tool (AQT) reports and manual checklists, for submission to Amazon.

The expansion of our Authorized Test Lab locations is an important step in our cooperation with Amazon and enables us to offer these services close to our customers in Asia, too.

Baseline Evaluation

An evaluation of more than 20 test cases ensures that security best practices are implemented, focused on the device itself.

Advanced Evaluation

In addition to the Baseline Evaluation, it includes 10 additional test cases evaluating privacy aspects, and more advanced analysis of hardware and firmware. In addition to this, an evaluation of the mobile application is included.

Full Evaluation

In addition to everything included in the Advanced Evaluation, Full Evaluation includes a dynamic analysis of the firmware as well as an evaluation of the cloud services.

Testing for certification

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