California passes nation’s first IoT security bill – too little too late?

It’s back to the future time again for California. Having adopted the nation’s toughest online privacy protection measure and restored state-level net neutrality protections that are tougher on ISPs than the FCC regulations, the Golden State’s Legislature has just sent a bill to the governor’s desk for signature that would make California the first state to attempt IoT security governance.

SB-327 Information privacy: connected devicesintroduces security requirements for connected devices sold in the US. It defines them as any device that connects directly or indirectly to the internet and has an IP or Bluetooth address.

The legislation says,

“This bill, beginning on January 1, 2020, would require a manufacturer of a connected device, as those terms are defined, to equip the device with a reasonable security feature or features that are appropriate to the nature and function of the device, appropriate to the information it may collect, contain, or transmit, and designed to protect the device and any information contained therein from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure, as specified.”

The California bill doesn’t define exactly what a ‘reasonable security feature’ would be but it mandates that connected devices come with unique passwords that users can change, which isn’t the case for many IoT products. If someone can log into the device outside a LAN, then it must have either preprogrammed passwords that are unique to each device (no more default login credentials) or a way to generate new authentication credentials before accessing it for the first time. ..Read More..

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