October 2019: The Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) is one of 7 organizations who have formally endorsed The Cyber Shield Act, legislation introduced by Senator Ed Markey and Congressman Ted Lieu that would create a voluntary cybersecurity certification program for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. “The Cyber Shield Act” would establish an advisory committee of cybersecurity experts from academia, industry, consumer advocates, government and the public to create cybersecurity benchmarks for IoT devices – such as baby monitors, home assistants, smart locks, cameras, cell phones, and laptops. IoT manufacturers can then voluntarily certify that their product meets those cybersecurity benchmarks, and display this certification to the public with a “Cyber Shield” label that will help consumers identify and purchase more secure devices for their homes.
In a statement coinciding with the reintroduction of the bill, which was originally introduced in 2017, Rep. Ted Lieu said “I’m a recovering Computer Science major so I recognize that advancements in technology have improved lives and our world. That said, we can’t ignore data security while we encourage technological advancement in every sector of our lives. That’s why Sen. Markey and I are reintroducing the Cyber Shield Act so that we can empower consumers to make smart purchases that keep their data safe. It’s a win-win for consumers and for businesses who prioritize the privacy and security of their customers.”
“The IoT will also stand for the Internet of Threats until we put in place appropriate cybersecurity safeguards,” said Senator Markey. “With more than 60 billion IoT devices projected to be in our pockets and homes by 2025, cybersecurity continues to pose a direct threat to economic prosperity, privacy, and our nation’s security. By creating a cybersecurity certification program, the Cyber Shield Act will give consumers a seal of approval for more secure products, as well as encourage manufacturers to adopt the best cybersecurity practices so they can compete in the marketplace for safety. I thank Congressman Lieu for his partnership on this essential legislation.”
“ICIT supports The Cyber Shield Act, a bill that will incentivize manufacturers to follow principles of security-by-design during the lifecycle of a product and ultimately improve consumer privacy and safety.” said Parham Eftekhari, Executive Director of ICIT. “Empowering consumers with information on the security of IoT devices elevates cybersecurity from a cost to a competitive differentiator in the eyes of IoT suppliers; a game changer in efforts to increase responsible manufacturing practices which in turn improves national security and sector resiliency.”
ICIT and its Fellows will actively contribute to strengthening the bill’s language and help educate the community on the importance of its objectives.
The Cyber Shield Act is endorsed by the Internet Association, Public Citizen, the Massachusetts Tech Leadership Council, Rapid7, Cybereason, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT).