New Gadgets that are less vulnerable to cyberattacks
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Consumers could soon be able to choose smart appliances and fitness trackers that the U.S. government considers relatively secure from cyber attacks thanks to new government-led labels, the Biden administration announced on Tuesday.

Appliances that are connected to the Internet, such as refrigerators, TVs, microwaves, and climate controls, may be awarded the U.S. Trust Mark shield if they meet federal cybersecurity requirements.

As early as next year, the program could be implemented.

On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced that new U.S. government labels could help consumers choose smart appliances and fitness trackers that are relatively secure from cyberattacks.

Devices connected to the Internet, such as refrigerators, TVs, microwaves, and climate controls, can display the Cyber Trust Mark shield if they meet government cybersecurity standards. After the Federal Communications Commission seeks public comment on the proposal, the administration expects the voluntary labeling program to take effect next year.

Amazon, Best Buy, Google, LG Electronics U.S.A., Logitech, and Samsung are among the companies committed to increasing cybersecurity in their products, according to the government.

In order to receive the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark, companies must follow cybersecurity standards set by NIST, such as requiring strong passwords and software updates.

To register a national trademark for the label, which would be applied to products that meet the standards, the FCC will apply on Tuesday. In addition to educating consumers about the new label, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will encourage retailers to prioritize products that carry it once it is approved.

The announcement also announced that other agencies across the executive branch will participate in the effort to make connected devices more secure. A cybersecurity labeling standard for smart meters and power inverters will be developed by the Department of Energy in collaboration with National Laboratories and industry. In addition, the Department of State plans to work with allies to develop cybersecurity labeling standards and to recognize these labels internationally.

By the end of 2023, NIST will also develop cybersecurity requirements for consumer routers, which the administration describes as a “high-risk type of product that can be used to eavesdrop, steal passwords, and attack other devices and high-value networks if compromised.” Upon completion, the FCC may be able to apply the new label to these products as well using the standards.