IoT taps into rural America, senators concerned about security

During a hearing this Tuesday Nov. 7, US senators discussed the importance and even possible implementation of IoT technology in rural areas of the United States, although connectivity is still an important issue they have to solve.

Widespread broadband deployment may prove a challenge, as for now there is no accurate data on which areas have or lack reliable broadband internet. All participants acknowledged the importance of cybersecurity in an IoT infrastructure and echoed concerns on the risks of DDoS attacks by corrupt IoT devices turned into botnets.

“In addition to accelerating the deployment of broadband in our rural areas, cybersecurity will be key to advancing the economic success of the internet of things market,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, committee chairman.

IoT security is critical if the technology is to be implemented across the country to improve activity in rural areas. If the government wants locals to embrace the internet of things, a secure infrastructure will build trust in locals, who will then accept the technology and its benefits into their lives.

By 2020, it is estimated that the number of internet connected devices will range between 20 billion and 30 billion In August, senators introduced legislation focused on the vulnerabilities in IoT devices, acknowledging the threat they pose, in current condition, to global cyber security.

Under the new legislation, manufacturers and vendors have to ensure their products are according to security standards, especially if the devices are sold to the US government. Also known as the IoT Cybersecurity Act of 2017, the bill aims to establish security standards to prevent vulnerable devices from being installed on critical infrastructures. The security standards would also apply to the IoT modernization of rural America.

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