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Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act Waiting on White House Approval

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When young Peter Parker was feeling through newly gifted “spidey senses,” his uncle imparted some words of wisdom, “With great power comes great responsibility.” These six words shaped the superhero. For the IoT, we stand on the precipice of widespread transformation across verticals, and great power. Here comes the responsibility piece.

This week, the Senate approved the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act (H.R. 1668) in unanimous fashion. The House passed the measure in September, now it sits on the Resolute desk awaiting White House approval.

If the President sees fit to pass the bill, it would establish a minimum security standard for all IoT devices purchased by government agencies. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would lead efforts in developing and sharing these new guidelines.

The bipartisan measure is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Catherine Cortez Mastro, D-Nev., Cory Gardner, R-Colo., Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Mike Rounds, R-S.D.

“Most experts expect tens of billions of devices operating on our networks within the next several years as the Internet of Things (IoT) landscape continues to expand,” said Sen. Gardner, who co-chairs the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus. “We need to make sure these devices are secure from malicious cyber-attacks as they continue to transform our society and add countless new entry points into our networks, particularly when they are integrated into the federal government’s networks.”

It’s nice to hear news from Washington that’s not election or stimulus related for a change. As of March 2020, 98 percent of all IoT device traffic is unencrypted, leaving sensitive data exposed. And with an exponential increase of devices and data comes increased responsibility for proper security. Up the ante when national security is in the pot.

We’re waiting on you Mr. President.  




Edited by Maurice Nagle
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