Marco Hogewoning, of the RIPE Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC), has taken on the topic of regulating the Internet of Things (IoT) in the UK – and highlights that “while there could be benefits […] there are also a lot of challenges.”

In a piece penned for Information Age, Marco paints a picture of a landscape showing an increase in both the quantity and severity of attacks – including attacks making use of IoT connections and devices. Against this background, Marco discusses the potential for regulation – in particular, the appointment of an IoT-specific regulator for the UK – and makes some interesting points.

“With greater awareness of IoT vulnerabilities and their potential impact, there are many ongoing discussions regarding the need for regulation,” Marco writes. “While there could be benefits to that approach, for instance, levelling the playing field between industry actors, there are also a lot of challenges. In the borderless world of the Internet, for regulation to have an effect, it needs to be internationally coordinated and that makes the process slow and complex. It will remain an uphill battle for regulation to keep pace with a rapidly evolving threat landscape and novel IoT applications that are being invented every day.”

At the same time, Marco points to “an increase in coordination and the adoption of self-regulatory approaches such as the Code of Practice” as having the potential to “turn the tide” without regulation, and also reminds consumers that “security remains dependent mainly on the user to check for and install updates regularly and to change any default passwords as soon as they unwrap their latest gadget” – something the industry needs to work on making easier for the less technical consumer.

Marco’s full piece is available now on Information Age.