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White House Unveils Cybersecurity Labeling Program for Smart Devices

New US cyber program will label smart devices that are considered safer and less vulnerable to attacks.

The Biden-Harris administration today announced a new cyber initiative to label smart devices that are considered safe to use and less vulnerable to attacks.

As part of the new cybersecurity labeling program, a new ‘US Cyber Trust Mark’ shield logo will be applied to products that meet specific cybersecurity criteria.

Proposed by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, the program is aimed at improving the cybersecurity of smart devices, including smart consumer products and electronics, climate control systems, and more.

“As proposed, the program would leverage stakeholder-led efforts to certify and label products, based on specific cybersecurity criteria published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that, for example, requires unique and strong default passwords, data protection, software updates, and incident detection capabilities,” the White House announced.

At the same time, the program is meant to help consumers make informed decisions regarding the security of the products they intend to buy.

The voluntary cybersecurity labeling program, which is expected to be implemented by 2024, is already seeing support from major electronics, appliances, and consumer products makers and retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Cisco, Google, Infineon, LG Electronics U.S.A., Logitech, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, and Yale and August U.S.

The FCC, which is registering a national trademark to be applied on products, will seek public comment on implementing the program. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will support FCC in educating consumers on looking for the new logo and in encouraging retailers to prioritize labeled products.

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A national registry of certified devices will be available for consumers to access via a QR code, which will allow them to learn more on the cybersecurity of these smart products. In addition, by the end of 2023, NIST will define cybersecurity requirements for consumer-grade routers.

The US Department of Energy will work with the National Labs and industry members to develop cybersecurity labeling requirements for power inverters and smart meters, while the Department of State will support the FCC in engaging with international partners for similar labeling efforts.

“This new labeling program would help provide Americans with greater assurances about the cybersecurity of the products they use and rely on in their everyday lives. It would also be beneficial for businesses, as it would help differentiate trustworthy products in the marketplace,” the US said.

Related: US Publishes Implementation Plan for National Cybersecurity Strategy

Related: US Government Provides Guidance on Software Security Guarantee Requirements

Related: US Gov Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint: 190 New Programs, 7,000 People Hired

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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