US Internet of Things bill advanced to vote on House floor

By Cameron Abbott and Rebecca Gill

Just a few months ago, we blogged on the ‘Internet of Things’ (or IoT) legislation making an appearance in the US Senate. But now the legislation may be becoming a reality. On Wednesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform advanced the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2019 to a vote on the House floor.

The bipartisan legislation aims to reduce the risk to critical government information technology infrastructure from cyberattacks, and directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop recommendations for use and management of internet-connected devices by March 31 2020.

Even though the IoT bill has been moved forward and there is strong support from industry groups, concerns have been expressed over whether this legislation can actually achieve its aim of strengthening the nation’s cybersecurity. One committee member described the bill as “redundant” due to existing US federal standards, and noted that it might “create de-facto regulations” for the entire IoT sector.

Anything that continues to increase the focus on security in this area is probably a good thing. The IoT industry has been notoriously lacking a proper approach to security.

For more information on IoT devices, check out our blog post “Cybersecurity in the age of the Internet of Things”. And watch this space for more updates on IoT devices, laws and cybersecurity.

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