Mozilla, Internet Society and Others Pressure Retailers to Demand Secure IoT Products

New initiative offers five principles for greater IoT security.



Mozilla Foundation, the Internet Society, and eight other organizations have teamed up to push retailers to demand that Internet of Things manufacturers improve security in their devices. The initiative seeks to enlist retailers to use their greatest power — that of dropping products from distribution — to convince manufacturers that adhering to minimum security and privacy standards is good for business.

In an open letter to Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon, the Mozilla Foundation lists the IoT security features it sees as minimal requirements:

  • Encrypted network communications
  • Provisions for security updates
  • Strong passwords (including the ability to change passwords)
  • Vulnerability management (including a workable reporting/mitigation system)
  • Strong, understandable privacy practices.

The requirements are echoed in a blog post from the Internet Society that calls on consumers to carry these demands to their favorite retailers.

In a statement provided to Dark Reading, Jeff Wilbur, technical director of the Internet Society's Online Trust Alliance, noted that connected devices today come with risks. "Consumer confidence is critical for this market to thrive and grow, yet many of today's offerings are rushed to market with little consideration for basic security and privacy protections," Wilbur said. "Fortunately, it's a solvable problem if everyone from manufacturers and policymakers to leading retailers just work together to make smart devices safe for consumers, and we're happy to join in the effort of the Mozilla Foundation to focus attention on this important issue."

The Mozilla Foundation has developed a Web page of Valentine's Day Gifts that may or may not meet all the security requirements laid out in the open letter. [Author's Note: The individual products featured on the page may or may not be suitable for workplace viewing.]

The recommended requirements for these IoT devices are a subset of their IoT Trust Framework, a best of requirements with four broad areas incorporating dozens of comprehensive security factors.

 

 

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Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio

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