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Government regulation of the Internet of Things to become inevitable

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June 13, 2016

Most industry observers seem to agree that overall, government regulation of the Internet of Things will most likely become inevitable as a huge number of interconnected devices in venues as varied as healthcare and power distribution becomes more commonplace.

This statement was made according to security guru Bruce Schneier, and there are many others that seem to agree with that.

“Governments all over the world are going to get involved regardless because of the many risks.

When people start dying one after the other and property gets destroyed in the billions, governments are going to have to do something fast,” Schneier said during a keynote speech at the Infosecurity Europe trade show in London.

There will definitely be new government regulations with the possibility of non-interference getting taken off the table, Schneier asserted.

“I think that more government involvement in cybersecurity is inevitable, simply because the systems are more real,” Schneier explained.

Security by design, applied to cars, planes, automobiles, etc which is characterised by testing and certification, is going to run into the agile model applied in software security of “muddling through putting it out there and fixing it on the fly”.

The latter model won’t survive as the computing devices control physical systems, according to Schneier.

“We’ve allowed programmers to have this special place in society to code the world as they see fit,” Schneier added. "I don't think we can do that anymore. I think this is becoming too critical to allow programmers to do what they want."

Schneier categorised the IoT as a world-sized robot that society is building and made up of connected devices that can sense, think and act autonomously.

The trouble is we don’t yet have a good regulatory structure that might be applied to the IoT. Policy makers don’t understand technology and technologists don’t understand policy. It creates a closed loop that is hard to get out of.

“We are going to see more cyber war rhetoric, more cyber terrorism events, more calls for surveillance, more calls for use control, more trusting of the government,” Schneier said, adding there are lots of decisions markets won’t even resolve in time.

Schneier also described the Internet of Things (IoT) as the next big security challenge because it will see technology collide with the real world.

Smart things that make up the IoT act on the world in a direct and physical manner. “It’s one big inter-connected system with threats, attackers, effects.

In a nutshell, the IoT is a system of systems. Everything we’ve seen so far just turned up to 11 and in a way we can’t turn it off.”

“Integrity and availability are worse than confidentiality threats, especially for connected cars. Ransomware in the CPUs of cars is gonna happen in two to three years,” he warned.

Schneier said that technologists and developers ought to design IoT components so they worked even when they were offline and failed in a safe mode. Whatever happens in the world of IoT is bound to have some government officials and law makers lose sleep at night. We'll keep you posted in the mean time.

Source: Bruce Schneier.

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Read the latest IT news. Visit ItDirection.net. Updated several times daily.

If you need reliability when it comes to SMTP servers, get the best, get Port 587.

Get a powerful Linux Dual-Core dedicated server for less than $2.67 a day!

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