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IoT Security is Now a Matter of National Security

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DHS releases principles for securing the IoT

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a set of strategic principles aimed at securing the Internet of Things (IoT) from future cyber attacks.

In its document titled Strategic Principles for Securing the Internet of Things (IoT), Version 1.0, DHS laid out guidelines to help protect the nation from repercussions of an insecure IoT.

The IoT is loosely defined as the growing list of devices and gadgets connected to the Internet that affect daily lives. Devices include phones, fitness trackers, vehicles, thermostats, pacemakers, cameras and much more.

Recent large-scale attacks involving IoT devices underscored the inherent insecurity of many IoT devices. IoT devices now often perform tasks that use to be performed manually by humans.

"The growing dependency on network-connected technologies is outpacing the means to secure them. We increasingly rely on functional networks to advance life-sustaining activities, from self-driving cars to the control systems that deliver water and power to our homes." --
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson

Strategic principles to enhance IoT security

On a fact sheet, DHS spelled out strategic principles a to "enhance security of the IoT across a range of design, manufacturing, and deployment activities."

The DHS' six main principles:
-- Incorporate security at the design phase.
-- Promote security updates and vulnerability management.
-- Build on recognized security practices.
-- Prioritize security measures according to potential impact.
-- Promote transparency across IoT.
-- connect carefully and deliberately.

In a perfect world, IoT security will increase due to collaborative efforts of developers, manufacturers, service providers, and IoT users.

Infrastructure is a concern

DHS noted concerns about infrastructure, and, in turn, public safety, due to the current insecurity of the IoT. It is these concerns about cybercrime specifically targeting these devices that largely spurred the urgency and creation of guidelines.

"Securing the Internet of Things has become a matter of homeland security. The guidance we issued today is an important step in equipping companies with useful information so they can make informed security decisions." --
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson

Matt Mills Matt Mills has been involved in various aspects of online media, both on the editorial side and on the technology side, for more than 16 years. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and is currently involved in multiple projects focused on innovation journalism.