Senator Edward J. Markey and Congressman Ted W. Lieu have reintroduced the Cyber Shield Act legislation to tackle Internet of Things (IoT) security.
The Cyber Shield Act will create a voluntary certification program for IoT devices, ensuring they meet a certain security standard. The installed base of IoT devices is expected to hit 75.44 billion by 2025. Those devices include baby monitors, smart locks, cameras, home assistants, cell phones, laptops and much more.
Unfortunately, it’s estimated that 98% of IoT data is unencrypted, leaving important data vulnerable to attack. IoT security is also one of the leading issues the enterprise faces, with 50% listing security and data privacy as their top concern.
The Cyber Shield Act attempts to address those issues by establishing an advisory committee of cybersecurity experts from a wide range of industries. The committee will establish cybersecurity benchmarks for the myriad of IoT devices, giving the industry a clear goal and set of parameters to work within.
The legislation would also allow for a “Cyber Shield” badge that certified products could display, serving as a way for consumers to make educated choices about what devices to purchase.
“The IoT will also stand for the Internet of Threats until we put in place appropriate cybersecurity safeguards,” said Senator Markey. “With as many as 75 billion IoT devices projected to be in our pockets and homes by 2025, cybersecurity continues to pose a direct threat to economic prosperity, personal privacy, and global security. By creating a cybersecurity certification program, the Cyber Shield Act will give consumers a seal of approval for more secure products, as well as encourage manufacturers to adopt the best cybersecurity practices so they can compete in the marketplace for safety. I thank Congressman Lieu for his partnership on this essential legislation.”
“Championing innovation is important, because technological advancement can make our lives easier and more efficient. But, for every smart refrigerator or wifi-enabled baby monitor, there comes increased cybersecurity risks that make consumers vulnerable to hacking and invasions of privacy. As we connect more parts of our lives to the internet, we have to make sure we’re doing it safely. That’s where Sen. Markey and my Cyber Shield Act comes in,” said Representative Lieu. “By creating a voluntary program allowing IoT manufacturers to certify the security of their devices, we’re encouraging the idea that cybersecurity should be top of mind for industry and consumers alike. It’s a great solution to an ever-increasing problem, and I’m grateful to have Sen. Markey as a partner on this bill.”
A copy of the legislation can be viewed here (PDF).