US House Passes IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act

Pierluigi Paganini September 21, 2020

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act, a bill that aims at improving the security of IoT devices.

The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act, a bill designed to improve the security of IoT devices.

The IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act First was first introduced in 2017, and later in 2019, a new version was introduced.

Recently IBM researchers revealed that there are about 31 billion IoT devices deployed around the globe, and the IoT deployment rate is now 127 devices per second.

In this scenario, the cybersecurity of IoT devices is crucial, for this reason US authorities are working on a bill that now has to pass the Senate before the final signature by the president.

The bill was sustained by Reps. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), and Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo), along with private firms, including BSA, Mozilla, Rapid7, Cloudflare, CTIA and Tenable.

“The House passage of this legislation is a major accomplishment in combatting the threats that insecure IoT devices pose to our individual and national security. Frankly, manufacturers today just don’t have the appropriate market incentives to properly secure the devices they make and sell – that’s why this legislation is so important,” explained Sens. Mark Warner.

“I commend Congresswoman Kelly and Congressman Hurd for their efforts to push this legislation forward over the past two years. I look forward to continuing to work to get this bipartisan, bicameral bill across the finish line in the Senate.”

In case the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act will be signed by the President, it will require the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to issue recommendations addressing the secure development, identity management, patching, and configuration management for IoT products. The recommendations provided by NIST have to be the result of the work of the agency with security and industry experts and the DHS.

At the same time, the bill will direct the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue guidelines for each agency that are compliant with the NIST recommendations.

Once the bill will be signed, federal government agencies would only purchase products compliant with those recommendations.

NIST is also tasked with the publishing of guidance on the coordinated vulnerability disclosure process.

“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. 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,” said Sen. Gardner. “I applaud the House of Representatives for passing this bipartisan, commonsense legislation to ensure the federal government leads by example and purchases devices that meet basic requirements to prevent hackers from accessing government systems.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act)

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