Emerging tech
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With many more people teleworking in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cyberattack surfaces changed and expanded, and as many worked from home with Internet of Things (IoT) devices abandoned at the office, threat actors took advantage. Part of the fallout from those realities, according to two Zscaler studies, was that malware attacks on IoT devices connected to corporate networks increased by 700 percent year-over-year in 2020, compared to the firm’s 2019 study.

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According to a U.S. Army spokesperson, the military branch has rescinded a policy that restricted Internet of Things (IoT) devices from telework environments to prevent data leaks and protect the privacy of critical unclassified information, personally identifiable information, and operational data.

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Internet of Things IoT sensors devices internet-connected smart city

With IoT devices exploding in popularity and use in recent years, Reps. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., and John Katko, R-N.Y., reintroduced a bill that would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to collect data from devices that connect to the Internet to ensure there is enough spectrum capacity.

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) is continuing a partnership with Bastille Networks—an Atlanta-based Internet of Things (IoT) technology start-up—by awarding the company a Phase 5 Other Transaction Agreement (OTA).

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US tech
Internet of Things IoT Data Architecture diagram

A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) survey finds that 56 of 90 Federal agencies surveyed reported using Internet of Things (IoT) devices, while 13 reported that they are not using IoT devices and do not plan to use them for a variety of reasons, including insufficient return on investment.

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The Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020 passed the House today and is moving to the Senate for consideration. The legislation would set a minimum-security standard for all IoT devices purchased by government agencies.

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NASA

According to a new report by NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), NASA is not adequately securing its networks from unauthorized access by IT devices, and has not fully implemented controls to remove or block unauthorized IT devices from accessing the agency’s networks and systems.

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Internet of Things IoT sensors devices internet-connected smart city

Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Gary Peters, D-Mich., have introduced legislation to expand the pool of communications service providers who could apply for Federal government funding to remove and replace network equipment made by firms the government judges to be “untrusted,” such as China-based Huawei and ZTE.

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The Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA) says that those involved in developing wireless, Internet of Things, 5G, and other compute-rich networks are at security and economic risk and that the solution is global supply chain security standards and programs that are industry driven.

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Internet of Things IoT sensors devices internet-connected smart city

While the Internet of Things (IoT) promises enormous potential for increasing government efficiency and the user experience, it also creates serious cybersecurity risks. All levels of government and the private sector continue to grapple with how to capitalize on its potential, while making sure the IoT ecosystem is secure and resilient against attacks.

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Federal money spending government

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said in a Sept. 13 report that implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2019 will cost $35 million over the 2019-2024 period, and an additional $11 million in 2020 to develop the IoT guidelines and standards mandated in the legislation.

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Sens. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., are asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about what the senators called a lack of public disclosure about cyber vulnerabilities in internet-connected vehicles, and suggested that the government may want to consider taking “possible regulatory action” to remedy that lack of public information.

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The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) released a draft interagency report to establish a core baseline guide for cybersecurity that manufacturers may adopt for Internet of Things (IoT) devices they produce.

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Legislation introduced in the House this week by the co-chairs of the House High-Tech Caucus would order up some initial steps that could lead to the U.S. increasing its influence in creating international standards for internet of things (IoT) devices.

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