The IoT Standards Leadership Act would require the U.S. Department of Commerce to report on U.S. engagement in international IoT standards-setting bodies and their effectiveness for cybersecurity. Here’s why it matters.
The modern attack surface is growing faster than ever before, enabled in large part by the explosion of mobile computers, smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT) devices like the weather monitoring systems on the electric grid and the sensors connected to industrial control systems to make factories and warehouses run smoothly.
In fact, the Ericsson Internet of Things Forecast predicts there will be 18 billion IoT-related connected devices by 2022. While the exponential increase in IoT devices is enabling organizations to improve services and efficiency, 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 important issue, and that includes supporting international, multi-stakeholder standards development processes with respect to internet-connected devices. These processes can help enable further innovation, while strengthening security.
Tenable supports the IoT Standards Leadership Act recently introduced by Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Michael McCaul (R-TX), which would require the U.S. Department of Commerce to conduct a study of international IoT standards-setting bodies and organizations, and their effectiveness. These findings would further guide U.S. engagement with stakeholders to promote and strengthen international standards.
This legislation is an important step toward ensuring the U.S. is part of the process to develop international, consensus-driven IoT standards and will help prevent country-specific standards from hindering the progress of American innovation. The development of effective, international IoT standards will support global collaboration on the establishment of secure operations through strong encryption, network security and cyber hygiene.
At Tenable, we know firsthand how the increase in connected devices creates Cyber Exposure challenges. Effective U.S. engagement in international standards development will help address these challenges and make for a safer future. Through this important legislative effort, and the work of 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. Leveraging private-public partnerships will remain a vital piece of securing IoT devices around the world, and Tenable looks forward to working with our partners in government and industry to ensure these devices can provide incredible benefits while minimizing the risk to users.