US House Joint Committee Holds Cyber Security Hearings


On November 16, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, and the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Michael C. Burgess of Texas, held a joint hearing entitled, “Understanding the Role of Connected Devices in Recent Cyber Attacks.”

In light of the last month’s cyberattacks against global Internet routing company Dyn and the committee’s ongoing work examining emerging cybersecurity issues, the subcommittees set out to use the hearing to examine how Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices can be used in cyberattacks to deny access to popular websites or otherwise disrupt online services. The committee has a long track record of examining emerging cybersecurity threats and their impact on consumers and the economy.

“Internet connectivity remains a vital part of our economic well-being and our national security. Americans should not have to worry that the convenience and connectivity of the Internet of Things comes at the expense of the resiliency and reliability of the larger Internet,” said Walden and Burgess. “Next week’s hearing provides our members with an opportunity to learn more about the recent cyberattacks, how cyberattacks are evolving, and what can be done to mitigate future attacks and risks.”

In a formal statement sent to the joint Committees, Craig Spiezle, Executive Director and President, Online Trust Alliance, said, “Collectively, we have a shared responsibility to help protect the security and privacy of individuals, enterprises, and the nation. The [Online Trust] Framework represents a major step to help shape products being developed, but we also need to consider what we can do to help address the risks in products being sold today and in use worldwide. We recommend the Committee to call on stakeholders to consider these initial guidelines. Where technically and economically feasible, these and other efforts are needed so together, we may build a safer, more secure world and enable the IoT industry to reach its full potential.”

I think these hearings are a good first step, and I look forward to more investigation and leadership in driving IoT security.

Edited by Alicia Young

Editorial Director

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