US industry groups suggest NIST to lead IoT cybersecurity guidance

7 Feb 2019

In a letter sent to White House cybersecurity officials, over 20 US industry groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce, the Telecommunication Industry Association, and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, asked for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to continue leading the development of cybersecurity guidance for Internet of things (IoT) devices. The groups praised the work done by NIST so far concerning the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity and suggested to follow the framework concerning cybersecurity guidance for IoT devices. They concluded the letter by asking the US Congress to increase the NIST funding, given the extent of its work.

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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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