By: Simon Handler, Safa Shahwan Edwards, and Trey Herr

What is the kernel of the issue?

Many Internet of Things (IoT) devices are manufactured abroad, and a lot of these products are built at extremely low cost with little consideration made for security. Whatever progress the United States and its allies make in setting better IoT security standards will be for naught if those standards cannot be enforced on foreign manufacturers that develop IoT products.

Why is the issue important?

Hundreds of “things” are being connected to the Internet and each other every day, with more than fifty billion devices expected to be connected by 2030. The United States has limited means to enforce its preferred security standards in foreign jurisdictions, like China, where the bulk of IoT products are manufactured.

What is the recommendation?

The Biden administration should coordinate with US allies and partners to apply regulatory pressure to domestic technology distributors to drive adoption of security standards throughout their supply chains. This reverse cascade enforces standards back to foreign manufacturers by preventing domestic sale or distribution of products that do not adhere to a clear and public security standard.

Related Experts: Simon Handler, Safa Shahwan Edwards, and Trey Herr