IoT Standards Leadership Act – U.S House Bill overview

IoT Standards Leadership: Modern cyberattacks are growing faster than ever before, enabled in large part by the explosion of mobile computers, smartphones, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Primary targets are the IoT devices like the weather monitoring systems on the electric grid and the sensors connected to industrial control systems to make factories and warehouses.

The Ericsson Internet of Things Forecast forecasts there will be 18 billion IoT-related connected devices by 2022. The exponential increase in IoT devices is enabling organizations to improve services and efficiency. However, it also widens the Cyber Exposure gap for users and provides bad actors with easy access to unsecured devices.

As the global use of IoT devices continues to grow, the U.S. has a responsibility to help develop strong IoT security standards. We must maintain leadership on this critical issue, and that includes supporting international, multi-stakeholder standards development processes concerning internet-connected devices. These processes can help enable further innovation while strengthening security.

Last week the House High-Tech Caucus introduced IoT legislation in the House. The co-chairs laid out some initial steps that could lead to the U.S. increasing its influence in creating international standards for the internet of things (IoT) devices.

The bill is named the “IoT Standards Leadership Act” and was introduced by Reps. Mike McCaul, R-Texas., and Doris Matsui, D-Calif.

The act would direct the U.S. Commerce Department to conduct a research study on multiple aspects. The research includes
1) current U.S. involvement in international standards-setting processes; 2) efforts by other countries to create IoT standards outside of international standards;
3) how to support U.S. efforts in international standards-making; and
4) the extent to which evolving international standards focus on prioritized, flexible, repeatable, performance-based, and cost-effective approaches to secure and manage risk.

This legislation would also seek recommendations on how to promote U.S. leadership in international IoT standards and discourage the development of various country-specific standards.

Matsui, who was involved in this bill, stated, “The U.S. must be a global leader in the IoT (Internet of Things). The next generation of networks and IoT devices will offer transformative benefits for consumers and across industries. To harness this true potential, it is critically important that the United States plays a significant role in setting international standards for these technologies and next-generation networks. “As more consumer devices become connected to the internet, there is also an increase in the threat of these devices being remotely monitored and controlled. Hence Americans are exposed to significant risk. The bill aims to extend American leadership and continued innovation in the future. Thus the United States should take a leadership role in shaping a safer future for IoT devices at home and abroad.

At Mobodexter, we know and understand how the increase in connected devices creates Cyber Exposure challenges. Active U.S. involvement in international standards development will help address these challenges and create a secure future. Through this essential legislative effort, and collaboration with the private sector, the U.S. can play a leadership role in the creation of an interoperable, safe and secure future for these powerful emerging technologies like IoT and Blockchain.

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