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NOV 23, 2020 | US

After Years of Work, Congress Passes ‘Internet of Things’ Cybersecurity Bill — And It’s Kind of a Big Deal

CyberScoop, November 23, 2020

By Tim Starks

Congress last week did something that it rarely does: It passed a meaningful cybersecurity bill. The measure would direct the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish baseline security requirements for any IoT manufacturer that wishes to contract with the federal government, in areas such as patching or identity management. The bill also would require contractors to implement vulnerability disclosure policies.

Absent government action, some researchers and consumer advocates had already experimented with security labeling for IoT devices.

The federal government doesn’t break out its spending on IoT devices, but outside assessments estimate that it spends billions each year, with more to come. But its purchasing influence is only part of the potential leverage the bill brings to bear.

“There will still be IoT manufacturers who don’t sell to the government that may be able to continue to ignore some of these baseline practices,” said Tommy Ross, director of public policy for The Software Alliance, a technology industry group. “I think they will come under increasing scrutiny given that the US government will now be saying these are the baseline practices we expect for any IoT device.”

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Original Posting: https://www.cyberscoop.com/congress-iot-cybersecurity-bill-contractors/

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