Cybersecurity is a concern for many when purchasing smart products for their home. There are many ways to enhance your home network’s security, but there is some unease amongst a segment of consumers that their homes will be hacked into via their smart lightbulb, TV, voice assistant, or even their refrigerator. Enough consumers, it seems, to warrant the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to get involved.
The US Cyber Trust Mark
The FCC has stepped in with a proposition that could increase confidence amongst consumers when shopping for new smart home devices. The proposal includes stringent standards for cybersecurity that must be met by internet-enabled smart devices to be granted the FCC’s special US Cyber Trust Mark logo, denoted by a shield, which will make secure products easily identifiable to consumers when they go to purchase. The logo will be accompanied by a QR code, giving even more details when scanned.
The cybersecurity criteria that companies and their products must adhere to comes from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, according to a White House press release. These criteria include measures related to data protection, default passwords, software updates, and incident detection capabilities.
The label and program are promised to elevate the standard of cybersecurity within households, as highlighted by the Biden-Harris administration. The FCC compared the initiative to the well-known Energy Star program, which identifies energy-efficient appliances.
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Roseworcel emphasized the significance of a cybersecurity labeling program in a time of increased interconnectivity, which brings with it increased security and privacy risks. By providing consumers with clear indicators of adherence to widely accepted security standards, she believes the new cybersecurity labeling program will play a crucial role in safeguarding users and their smart devices.
Though the types of devices that will receive the US Cyber Trust Mark have yet to be determined, as the program is not in effect at this time, the White House did state a wide range of smart devices would be eligible for the label. Among the product types mentioned were smart refrigerators, microwaves, smart TVs, smart thermostats, and fitness trackers. Top industry players like Amazon, Google, Samsung, Logitech, and others, have expressed support for the FCC’s initiative.
Expect Heightened Cybersecurity for Your Home in 2024
The FCC is aiming to have the program implemented by late 2024. The proposal must undergo an official vote by the Commission, then be followed by a public comment period, before it can take effect.
The FCC has already applied with the US Patent and Trademark Office for the label to be recognized as a national trademark. While the exact timeline for all of this to roll out isn’t set in stone, it is under way. When it is realized, the US Cyber Trust Mark will go a long way in helping consumers to feel more secure when buying new smart products for their homes.
It would be awesome if every smart product was as secure, as say, an iPhone. The process will take some time, but we believe you can expect to start seeing these Trust logos appearing on products in less than 2 years. Stay tuned.