Legislation Seeks More Secure Smart Homes

August 3, 2017

In an effort to keep smart homes and related devices on the internet secure, four U.S. senators have introduced a bipartisan bill to encourage vendors to conform to industry security standards.

Bill S.1691, which has been referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, is described as "a bill to provide minimal cybersecurity operational standards for Internet-connected devices purchased by Federal agencies, and for other purposes."

Reuters reports that the bill would require vendors to make sure their products are "patchable"—users will be able to upgrade them to eliminate bugs and security issues—and conform to industry security standards. Vendors would also be required to allow users to change default passwords and verify that known security issues have been fixed.

The legislation was drafted by Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) and cosponsored by Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.), with input from the Atlantic Council and Harvard University.

Reuters says that as many as 30 billion devices may be connected to the internet by 2020. An attack that took over many smart-home devices forced a number of internet services offline last fall.

Source: "U.S. senators to introduce bill to secure 'internet of things,'" Reuters (Aug. 1, 2017)