Talk on Government’s role in securing IoTs to be hosted by AEI at Capitol Hill

Next week, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host an event on Capitol Hill about consumer security and the Internet of Things (IoT) with Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA). These lawmakers have drafted legislation that would create a “cyber shield” mark aimed at helping consumers identify IoT devices that “meet industry-leading cybersecurity and data security standards, guidelines, best practices, methodologies, procedures, and processes.”

Many IoT device manufacturers are currently working with smart home platforms without government guidance. Some organizations such as the Open Connectivity Foundation want to create standards for devices to ensure that different products are interoperable, simple and secure to set up, and work better together for end users.

But as the evolution of IoT devices and the end-point systems that allow information to flow to and from the devices continues, how will consumers know that they are secure? All this collaboration calls for consumers to trust that security is present in the transaction. For example, Comcast recently announced that its connected home system will allow users to say “good night” to tell the system to lock doors, turn off lights, adjust thermostats, and arm the home security system, all with a level of cybersecurity running in the background for all the connected systems.

Will the IoT industry continue to improve the cybersecurity features of devices interacting with each other in homes and with individuals? Or does the government need to engage to ensure that consumers have secure choices when implementing IoT technologies? Hardware manufacturers will need to consider the risks their devices can create as consumers establish their baseline for risk tolerance in this era of connected devices.

Knowing which devices have better security features may help consumers make smarter, more secure decisions. Markey and Lieu understand the challenge of identifying items that have security by design or the ability for manufacturers to send updates and patches as needed as part of protecting the device.

The key question moving forward is whether industry needs government involvement to make IoT devices with security features in their design. Will industry players continue to work to produce a more secure IoT ecosystem without government programs that impose best practices? I hope you join us for the discussion.

RSVP here to join American Enterprise Institute (AEI) for remarks from Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) on their Cyber Shield Act and efforts to improve the cybersecurity of IoT devices. Remarks will be followed by a discussion with AEI’s Shane Tews and an expert panel discussion

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