US ‘plans labelling system for IoT cybersecurity risk’

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The US government is reportedly planning to rollout a labelling system that would allow consumers to assess the cybersecurity risk of connecting to different IoT devices.

According to a report from Bloomberg, a senior White House official said the system would allow consumers to scan a barcode attached to product packaging with their phones to access information such as the level of support from manufacturers and the device’s history of receiving software updates, an important function of data security.

According to the official, companies would participate in the scheme on a voluntary basis, with the White House planning to launch the scheme on a more formal basis in early 2023.

The White House said it would start with some of the most common, and often most at-risk, technologies such as Internet routers and home cameras, Bloomberg reported. It is hoped the scheme would help combat hackers, who have begun targeting smart home IoT devices in recent years, deploying those devices’ connections as part of distributed denial-of-service attacks.

The US scheme comes a month after the EU published new proposals for cybersecurity related requirements for consumer electronics as part of a draft version of its proposed Cyber Resilience Act.

The new law would require electronics makers to make connected products and software placed on the EU market more secure. It would also make manufacturers responsible for cybersecurity throughout a product’s life cycle, and ensure that consumers are properly informed about the cybersecurity around the products that they buy and use.