Home Technology The Biden Administration Is Taking Steps to Protect Your Smart Devices from Hackers

The Biden Administration Is Taking Steps to Protect Your Smart Devices from Hackers

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The Biden Administration Is Taking Steps to Protect Your Smart Devices from Hackers

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With help from major players in the consumer technology industry, the Biden administration has launched an ambitious initiative to create a national cybersecurity certification and labeling program. The primary objective of this project is to assist consumers in making more well-informed decisions when purchasing smart devices.

With the proliferation of Internet of Things devices and the increase in cybercrime, hackers need only compromise a single smart home device to gain access to otherwise secure networks. Since manufacturers are having trouble keeping up with the ever-evolving malware threats, consumers are becoming increasingly worried about the safety of their smart devices.

The U.S. Cyber Trust Mark program, which the FCC oversees, is entirely voluntary for industry participants. It’s modeled after the Energy Star rating system for efficient household appliances and provides a foolproof method for Americans to recognize their internet- and Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Amazon, Best Buy, Google, LG Electronics USA, Logitech, and Samsung are just some of the major companies that have expressed their support for the program. Starting in 2019, goods that pass the U.S. government’s cybersecurity standards will be marked with the “Cyber Trust” label, denoted by a shield logo. Baby monitors, security cameras, fitness trackers, televisions, refrigerators, and climate control systems all qualify for this label.

According to FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, manufacturers whose goods meet NIST standards will benefit most from the Cyber Trust Mark. Customers can relax knowing they can quickly and easily update the security on their device by scanning a QR code.

The FCC is actively seeking public input as part of its rulemaking process. Following the adoption of final rules, it is anticipated that products ready for certification will be displayed at CES 2024. In addition, all certified products will need to be re-certified every year.

An April report from the cybersecurity firm Bitdefender and networking equipment company NetGear revealed that the most vulnerable devices in 2022 were smart TVs, followed by smart plugs, routers, and digital video recorders. Products that promptly patch vulnerabilities and use encrypted communications to protect personal information are easily identifiable to consumers thanks to the Cyber Trust Mark criteria. A significant part of the program will be to teach people how to use the intrusion detection tools.

In October, the White House and representatives from the technology industry met to announce the Cyber Trust initiative. The FCC’s role as supervisor and criteria determiner, as well as the participation of major industry players, are expected to increase the program’s effectiveness in bolstering cybersecurity despite concerns about the program’s voluntary nature.

In conclusion, the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark program is a major step forward in strengthening the safety of connected devices to the internet. Smart devices that comply with government cybersecurity standards will be easily identifiable, giving consumers more confidence in their purchases. The FCC’s oversight and industry participation should increase the program’s effectiveness, despite the program’s voluntary nature. The industry and consumers will both benefit from this initiative because it will increase the reliability and safety of smart devices.

First reported on NBC News

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark Initiative?

The U.S. Cyber Trust Mark Initiative is a groundbreaking effort launched by the Biden administration in collaboration with major players in the consumer technology industry. Its primary objective is to establish a national cybersecurity certification and labeling program. Through this initiative, consumers can make more well-informed decisions when purchasing smart devices by easily identifying products with reduced vulnerability to hacking.

Q. Why is there a need for the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark Initiative?

With the ever-expanding presence of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the simultaneous increase in cybercrime incidents, the security landscape has become more challenging. A single compromised smart home device can now serve as a gateway for hackers to access otherwise secure networks. Unfortunately, manufacturers are struggling to keep pace with the rapidly evolving malware threats, and this has led to growing concerns among consumers about the safety and privacy of their smart devices.

Q. Who oversees the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark program?

The U.S. Cyber Trust Mark program is under the careful supervision of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a key regulatory body responsible for overseeing various aspects of communication and technology-related matters.

Q. Is participation in the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark program mandatory for industry players?

Participation in the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark program is entirely voluntary for industry participants. The initiative is designed to encourage companies to proactively prioritize cybersecurity without imposing mandatory requirements.

Q. How is the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark program structured?

Modeled after the successful Energy Star rating system used for efficient household appliances, the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark program offers a reliable and user-friendly method for Americans to identify internet- and Bluetooth-enabled devices that adhere to the government’s rigorous cybersecurity standards.

Q. Which major companies are supporting the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark program?

The U.S. Cyber Trust Mark initiative has garnered support from prominent industry players such as Amazon, Best Buy, Google, LG Electronics USA, Logitech, and Samsung. These companies have expressed their commitment to enhancing cybersecurity and promoting consumer trust in smart devices.

Q. What types of products will be eligible for the “Cyber Trust” label?

Under the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark program, a diverse range of products will be eligible for the coveted “Cyber Trust” label. These products include but are not limited to baby monitors, security cameras, fitness trackers, televisions, refrigerators, and climate control systems.

Q. When will products with the “Cyber Trust” label be available?

Starting in 2019, products that meet the stringent cybersecurity standards set by the U.S. government will proudly display the “Cyber Trust” label. Consumers can use this label as a reliable indicator of the product’s cybersecurity credibility.

Q. How will the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark benefit manufacturers?

Manufacturers whose products meet the rigorous standards established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) stand to benefit significantly from the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark. Additionally, products participating in the program will feature QR codes, enabling consumers to effortlessly update their device’s security by scanning the code.

Q. How can the public participate in the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark program?

The FCC is actively seeking valuable input from the general public as part of the rulemaking process for the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark program. Public engagement is critical to ensure that the initiative effectively addresses consumers’ cybersecurity concerns.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.

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Harmony Evans is an award-winning author of Harlequin Kimani Romance, African-American romance, and so on. Harmony Evans is an award-winning author for Harlequin Kimani Romance, the leading publisher of African-American romance. Her 2nd novel, STEALING KISSES, will be released in November 2013. Harmony is a single mom to a beautiful, too-smart-for-her-own-good daughter, who makes her grateful for life daily. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, knitting, reading, and of course, napping and also review some of the best-selling and popular brands and services in the market and also write comprehensive blogs.

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