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US plans cyber safety certificate for connected device

US sanctions network smuggling American tech to Iran's central bank
Source: Pixabay

The White House on Tuesday announced a proposed “Cyber Trust Mark” intended to show that connected devices meet US security standards.

An ever-increasing number of technologies — from baby monitors, to fitness trackers and home security cameras — make up the so-called “internet of things,” which US officials warn can pose increased cybersecurity threats.

Under the new program, companies will be able to qualify to display labels on their products signifying they meet certain cybersecurity standards, such as requiring strict passwords and frequently updating software, US officials announced in a briefing.

“We now routinely rely on internet and Bluetooth enabled devices for task as basic as adjusting our thermostat and as complex as securing our homes while we’re away,” said Anne Neuberger, White House deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology.

“Poorly secured products can enable attackers to gain footholds in American homes and offices and steal data or cause disruption,” she warned.

The program, under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is hoped to be up and running by next year after a public comment period.

Amazon, Google, LG Electronics, and Samsung are among the companies participating in the program, US officials said in a briefing, notably omitting Apple.

The amount of malicious software aimed at devices in the internet-of-things “jumped dramatically” in 2022, with many of the attacks centered in North America, according to cybersecurity firm SonicWall.

“Consumers can have peace of mind that the products that they’re bringing into their homes adhere to widely accepted security and privacy standards,” FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said of US-endorsed cyber trust labels.

Meanwhile, product makers will be able to use the marks to differentiate offerings in the marketplace when they meet the standards, Rosenworcel added.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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