NIST Seeks Members For New IoT Advisory Board

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The inaugural board will advise the Internet of Things Working Group on federal policies that may influence IoT development and security.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology issued a notice of intent Thursday looking for nominations to join its first Internet of Things Advisory Board.

Consisting of 16 members, the inaugural group will focus on policies that impact the Internet of Things, the digital networks that comprise countless connections and devices. Working group members will research, analyze, and advise on federal policy that might influence IoT. 

Specifically, the board will review how some policies benefit or hinder U.S.’ socioeconomic development related to IoT. Some industries within the group’s purview that stand to benefit from burgeoning IoT technology policy include transportation, supply chain and logistics, agriculture, and health care.

The advisory board and working group will act as separate but symbiotic entities, with the advisory board set to counsel the working group on designated IoT topics. Its formation is part of the federal government’s response to strengthening cybersecurity protocols in both the public and private sectors. 

“The Internet of Things is already transforming our world, providing detailed information that can improve air quality, traffic congestion, medical care and more,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in a statement. “We would like this board to represent a broad spectrum of IoT experts from industry, academia and nonprofit organizations who can provide advice on IoT ranging from rural concerns to transportation, security and health care topics.”

Pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, members appointed to the group will serve for two years and submit reports to the corresponding Internet of Things Federal Working Group. 

Nominations submissions will be due by 5 pm EST on Feb. 28. 

The formation of the group stems from President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14028, which allocates new federal resources to building a more robust cybersecurity presence in the U.S. 

The order specifically requested that NIST create the two programs to advise and study the IoT and how secure data is within this network. A first of their kind, both these groups are pilot programs and aim to help the Commerce Department, NIST, and the Federal Trade Commission educate the public on the security criteria behind IoT devices. 

One aspect the new advisory group may contribute to is the pilot cybersecurity labeling criteria program. Outlined in the executive order, the labeling program would require manufacturers of select technological products to provide labels detailing the device’s security information for the benefit of consumers.