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September 19, 2023

15.14 Billion Reasons The Cyber Trust Mark for IoT Devices Will Matter

You’ve heard it time and time again.

“Protecting IoT technology is challenging.”

“IoT devices are known for their notoriously poor protection.”

“IoT technology wasn’t designed with security in mind.”

By the end of 2023, there will be 15.14 billion connected IoT devices in the world. In 2030, this number is expected to double.

We’re surrounded by IoT components. Every year, hackers have more and more opportunities to exploit them for complex cyber-attacks.

What can you, as a manufacturer, do to build devices with a smarter approach to cybersecurity? What can you, as a consumer, do to choose more secure devices?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)) has created a program that will address these difficulties.

Here we discover how Cyber Trust Mark sets a new security standard for IoT devices.

Purchasing Safer IoT Devices

For consumers, the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark is an easy way to tell the product is secure. When you see the shield logo on the products on the shelves, you'll be able to actively choose devices that adhere to stricter safety standards.

Why is IoT security important to consumers?

Smart thermostats, watches, TVs, locks, speakers, glasses, or even refrigerators need IoT components to be functional.

When they’re poorly protected, bad actors can use them to gain access to other devices that communicate with them (such as your smartphone) or get access to devices such as security cameras.

In 2024, when the Cyber Trust Mark will go into full effect, users can rely on the shield mark to buy the products that are:

  • Equipped with stronger, unique default passwords
  • Continually updated with security patches
  • Regularly tested against new vulnerabilities
  • Feature better technology that identifies possible hacking incidents
  • Safe against cyber attacks that frequently target smart devices

There will now be a straightforward way to choose more secure devices.

Releasing Safer IoT Devices to the U.S. Market

The protection of IoT device components begins with manufacturers. Consumers will be encouraged to purchase shield-labeled products when this label appears in stores, and retailers will put them at the forefront.

This new labeling program will help companies face security issues that protect IoT devices against cyber exploits.

The Cyber Trust Mark will offer universal guidelines that manufacturers can follow to design and create more secure IoT technology in every development stage.

The exact criteria manufacturers will have to meet to earn the Cyber Trust Mark is not yet available, but will likely cover all the common remarks that are discussed in the context of IoT device protection, such as better data encryption, strict access control, and continual cyber security improvement of available IoT technology.

Most manufacturers already follow some of the recommended practices to secure IoT devices — such as applying basic cyber hygiene to protect their most valuable assets.

The Cyber Trust Marl new program will provide a more comprehensive list of essential principles that every IoT maker has to follow to protect user data, improve security, and promptly detect as well as respond to cyber incidents.

Registering for the Cyber Trust Mark

Manufacturers can voluntarily choose to be part of the Cyber Trust Mark Program. However, this label is issued for the U.S. market only, and the program is currently limited to consumer smart devices.

The program is ideal for IoT makers who manufacture IoT devices in the US who already follow security principles going beyond basic cyber hygiene, and who want to increase customer trust.

Companies that enroll in the program and whose devices follow the security guidelines will be certified and listed in the national registry of devices.

Consumers will be able to access the complete registry using the assigned QR code. In addition to the shield logo, there is another way to check if the company follows the best IoT security practices.

The Cyber Trust Mark label expires after three years, and companies will have to go through a yearly security audit to prove that they are adhering to the set security standards.

Some of the companies that already promised to support the initiative are Google, Amazon, and Logitech (News - Alert).

Securing IoT Components Beyond the Cyber Trust Mark

Cyber Trust Mark leaves the door ajar to the world that connects us and makes our lives more convenient with IoT devices without compromising security.

It’s a step in the right direction but not a final solution that will end all the security challenges posed by poorly protected IoT technology.

Companies with many IoT components within their infrastructure still need extensive and robust security.

They must map all the smart devices within the infrastructure to increase their visibility.

Then, they must protect them at all times to catch cyber threats before granting unauthorized access or resulting in a data breach.

Improving Cybersecurity For Smart Devices

As mentioned, IoT technology is notorious for its lax cybersecurity practices. Weak default passwords and the wide range of versatility of IoT devices make it hard to set a standardized guide for protecting such components against cyber breaches.

With the Cyber Trust Mark, the security standards for consumer IoT devices are increased. The program offers an important step toward the security of smart devices.

The shield logo will offer consumers a visual they can refer to and separate companies that prioritize user security and privacy.

For manufacturers, the Cyber Trust Mark will provide a major push to continually improve IoT security and set a higher standard for their devices compared to their competitors.

Consumers shopping within the U.S. market can expect the program to be applied in 2024.

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