Policy Studies Cybersecurity

Markets vs. Mandates: Solutions for securing the internet of things

The attached policy study was co-published with Georgia Tech University’s Internet Governance Project, and is co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams and Tech Policy Associate Joe Kane. 

The internet of things (IoT) is “an array of connected objects with unique identifiers that have the ability to transfer data over a network.” IoT devices have diverse applications across disparate fields. For instance, transportation, agriculture and health care could all use connected devices to increase the quality and efficiency of their processes and products. However, introducing networked devices inevitably comes with new security risks. When everything from one’s car to one’s toaster is connected to the internet, both the number of attack surfaces and their potential damage is multiplied.

Thus, in order to maximize the benefits of the IoT, we must develop a policy framework that is able to keep up with these evolving and expanding threats and that can address the damage caused when security measures fail. Accordingly, this paper examines different approaches to IoT security and argues that market-oriented solutions and incentives, rather than ex-ante regulations and onerous liability rules are best suited to foster both security and innovation.

Image by mansong suttakarn


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