U.S. Senate Tries to Head Off IoT Hackers

Various estimates of the number of Internet-connected devices that will be in use in the next three years range from 30 to 50 billion worldwide and businesses of all kinds will be leveraging them as an additional sales channel. A group of U.S. senators representing both parties this week introduced legislation that will attempt to enforce a baseline level of security around the information these devices will collect. As e-commerce merchants have found, they are subject not only to the risk of losing such information in a network breach, but also to the risk of fraud when criminals attempt to monetize any information that was stolen.

The legislation, sponsored by Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will require Internet-connected devices to be patchable, have updateable passwords and ship without known security vulnerabilities.

“The Internet of Things (IoT) landscape continues to expand, with most experts expecting tens of billions of devices operating on our networks within the next several years,” said Sen. Gardner. “As these devices continue to transform our society and add countless new entry points into our networks, we need to make sure they are secure from malicious cyber-attacks.

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