Cybersecurity labelling for smart devices aims to help people choose items less likely to be hacked

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre talks about a cybersecurity certification and labeling program at the White House in Washington, on July 18, 2023. Smart devices like baby monitors, fitness trackers and Internet-connected appliances will soon be eligible for labels certifying that they meet federal cybersecurity standards. Federal officials said Wednesday that the first ‘Cyber Trust’ labels could appear in time for the holiday shopping season. The White House announced the labels last year to help consumers avoid devices that are vulnerable to hacking. — AP

WASHINGTON: Consumer labels designed to help Americans pick smart devices that are less vulnerable to hacking could begin appearing on products before the holiday shopping season, federal officials said May 22.

Under the new US Cyber Trust Mark Initiative, manufacturers can affix the label on their products if they meet federal cybersecurity standards. The types of devices eligible for labels include baby monitors, home security cameras, fitness trackers, refrigerators and other internet-connected appliances.

The White House first announced the “Cyber Trust” labels last year and the Federal Communications Commission finalised the details in March, clearing the way for the labels to start showing up in several months.

“You should hopefully, by the holiday season, start to see devices that have this trustmark on it,” said Nicholas Leiserson, the assistant national cyber director for cyber policy and programs. Leiserson made his comments Wednesday during a cybersecurity panel at Auburn University’s McCrary Institute in Washington.

The labels will also include QR codes that consumers can scan for security information about their devices.

Officials have likened the labels to the Energy Star program, which rates appliances’ energy efficiency, and say the idea is to empower consumers while also encouraging manufacturers to enhance their cybersecurity.

Amazon, Best Buy, Google, LG Electronics USA, Logitech and Samsung are among industry participants.

The proliferation of so-called smart devices has coincided with growing cybercrime in which one insecure device can often give cyberintruders a dangerous foothold on a home network. – AP

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