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5 Questions About IoT Security Act With U.S. Senator Mark Warner

“The risk extends beyond just DDoS attacks. Insecure IoT devices – often the most vulnerable part of a home or enterprise network – can be leveraged as access points to wider networks. And, as we’ve seen in a number of ransomware and wiperware incidents impacting devices like smart TVs, insecurities in these devices can be used to ‘brick’ connected devices.”

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Is IoT Growing Faster Than Security?

A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would create minimum security standards for IoT devices that are deployed on government networks. Using a set of draft recommendations from NIST, the bill would introduce guidelines for best practices that could carry over to the commercial and consumer worlds as well, U.S. Senator Mark Warner told CRN by email.

The Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2019 -- introduced by Warner (D-Va.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) -- would require the National Institute of Standards and Technology to issue recommendations that address secure development, identity management, patching, and configuration management for IoT devices.

Warner told CRN that the impetus for the bill was the October 2016 botnet attack against internet performance management firm Dyn in which hackers broke into IoT devices, infected them with the Mirai virus, and used them to shut down dozens of networks belonging to some of the biggest names in tech and media such as Slack, SoundCloud, FoxNews, BBC, Etsy, Netflix, and CNN, among others.

Warner has a strong tech background as the co-founder of a venture capital firm, Columbia Capital, that invested in hundreds of tech startups. He was also a cofounder of the company that later became Nextel, according to his U.S. Senate website.

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