As our homes continue to get smarter, so does the need for additional precautions across devices. Now, the federal government is taking steps to make it easier for you to know the safety of certain devices. The Biden-Harris administration has announced the "US Cyber Trust Mark" program, which would certify and label Internet of Things (such as baby monitors and alarm systems) with powerful cybersecurity.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will determine the necessary cybersecurity qualifications for consumer-grade routers by the end of 2023. Bad actors can manipulate consumer-grade routers without strong security in place for eavesdropping and cyber attacks on other devices. Its criteria will determine if a product should be labeled and certified, using factors like incident detection capabilities and strong default passwords. At the same time, the US Department of Energy is working with National Labs, among other partners, to determine the best path forward to classify smart meters and power inverters as meeting cybersecurity requirements.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is filing for a national trademark to put on all certified items, and it plans to create a QR code that links to a database of products. "We knew that we didn't want to create a label that said this product had been certified and secured and then stayed secure forever," a White House official told reporters. "The QR code will give you up-to-date information on the ongoing adherence to cyber security standards." Companies such as Logitech, Best Buy, Samsung Electronics and Amazon have expressed their support and intentions to improve cybersecurity in their product offerings.