Not even Congress can keep up with IoT security

IoT security panel
Moderator Mark Harris of The Economist leads a discussion about IoT security with Finite State CEO Matt Wyckhouse, U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene and University of Washington computer scientist Franziska Roesner at the GeekWire Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

For years, computer industry leaders have been talking about creating a seal of approval that would assure consumers that their connected devices would be safeto use on the Internet of Things, just as past generations had Underwriters Laboratories or the Good Housekeeping seal to lean on. Why is that so hard to do?

U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., says it’s because the IoT market is moving so quickly that what seems secure today may not be so tomorrow.

“There was a time when we had something more static, you could say that it’s got this particular validator on the box, and you knew that it would potentially be good for years to come,” DelBene, who co-founded the Congressional Caucus on the Internet of Things in 2015, said today at the GeekWire Summit. “How do we make sure that if something’s there, it’s really going to mean something months or years down the line, given how much things are changing?”

She and other experts on agreed that security assurances will become increasingly necessary as the number of IoT devices, ranging from webcams to smart speakers to kitchen appliances, mushrooms from an estimated 11 billion today to more than 20 billion in 2020.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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