Cyber Trust Mark

Cyber Trust MarkThe federal government continues to develop the program introduced in October of last year that will label Internet of Things (IoT) devices so consumers and business owners can make better security decisions. The program now has a name, the US Cyber Trust Mark, and is similar to Energy Star ratings on home appliances introduced by the EPA in the 90s. The program seeks to combat IoT vulnerabilities that many devices pose to consumers and businesses.

The program is a response to the yearly increase of IoT device attacks. IoT attacks are up 41% in 2023, and about half of organizations face an attempted cyberattack using IoT devices weekly. Every year more devices are made “smart” and connect to the internet, creating a larger attack surface for criminals. Refrigerators, medical sensors, vehicles, and security systems are all made with WIFI connectivity and must be secured online.

Many inexpensive or off-brand IoT devices use low-quality security practices like a preinstalled common password that can be found online. Criminals can easily gain control of devices and use them for their intended use in the case of a camera to look in on a home or business. They can also use unencrypted devices as a jumping-off point to access the home or business network to begin a malware attack, steal information, or access other devices. Lastly, criminals can coordinate unsecured IoT devices and use them in collaboration to create a botnet or distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

The new Cyber Trust Mark aims to educate consumers and help them make more security-minded decisions when buying IoT devices. Participation by IoT device manufacturers will be voluntary, and many companies like Amazon, Best Buy, Google, LG, Logitech, and Samsung have already committed to participating in the program. The certification parameters will be based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) around passwords, data protection, and patching and updating.

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Posted by Charles Wright