A legislation initiative for defining IoT Federal cybersecurity standards

12 Dec 2018

US House of Representatives member Robin Kelly introduces Internet of things (IoT) Federal Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2018. Introduced at the US House of Representatives, the bill would require all Internet-connected devices acquired by the government to meet basic cybersecurity standards. It would also pressure agencies to avoid using the lowest price criteria when choosing suppliers for devices. According to the legislation, the government could only purchase devices that accept security patches and allow users to change passwords. In addition, the vendors would need to notify of any security vulnerabilities they discover and issue software update as new threats arise. The bill was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, to add considerations relevant to their jurisdictions

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The Internet of Things (IoT) includes a wide range of Internet-connected devices, from highly digitalised cars, home appliances (e.g. fridges), and smart watches, to digitalised clothes that can monitor health. IoT devices are often connected in wide-systems, typically described as 'smart houses' or 'smart cities'.

Cybersecurity is among the main concerns of governments, Internet users, technical and business communities. Cyberthreats and cyberattacks are on the increase, and so is the extent of the financial loss. 

Yet, when the Internet was first invented, security was not a concern for the inventors. In fact, the Internet was originally designed for use by a closed circle of (mainly) academics. Communication among its users was open.

Cybersecurity came into sharper focus with the Internet expansion beyond the circle of the Internet pioneers. The Internet reiterated the old truism that technology can be both enabling and threatening. What can be used to the advantage of society can also be used to its disadvantage.


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