Can U.S. lawmakers fix IoT security for good?


While the Internet of Things (IoT) has carved out a comfortable place for itself in today’s society and markets, many still fear that the interconnectivity-driven phenomenon is extraordinarily vulnerable to outside attacks. A number of U.S. Senators believe they may have a solution to the problem, and have put forward the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017.

What are the exact details of the text of the bill, and how does it intend to secure one of the most diverse and unregulated assets of the economy? What potential pitfalls stand in the bills way, and how much of a chance does it have of becoming law? An analysis of the IoT Act reveals that it’s a healthy step in the right direction, but it may not be enough.

Pathing IoT vulnerabilities

As the strength and value of the IoT is driven by the proliferation of networked devices, it stands to reason that more and more digitally-connected gadgets could only be a good thing for it. Shoddy, non-patchable hardware has proven to be an incredible vulnerability for the IoT, however, and could cripple it in the future. One massive 2016 cyberattack exploited connected IoT devices for nefarious purposes, for instance.

The IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act hopes to remedy this problem by reevaluating government procurement standards. Currently, many of the devices bought by government agencies come equipped with pre-installed passwords which can’t be changed easily, and sometimes can’t be changed at all. This serious security threat will be mitigated by the bill, which aims to enforce regulations which ensure all devices sold to the federal government are patchable.

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