|Cybersecurity labels guarantee that the smart devices have information on security features / Photo Credit: Creative Photo Corner (via Shutterstock)|
Our homes have been filled with connected devices from smart coffee machines to an internet-connected security camera, wrote Mark Jones of TechHQ, a technology news website. These smart devices serve as a gateway for hackers to break into the entire network system. These devices also collect sensitive data to enable companies to improve their products. The problem here is that cybersecurity measures are not held to a high standard, leaving networks vulnerable to cyberattacks.
But there’s good news. Finland is the first European country to certify safe smart devices. The initiative was launched by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. The label assures consumers that the labeled devices “have basic information security features.” The Cybersecurity label can only be given if the devices adhered to the certification criteria. The criteria is built upon EN 303 645, a draft standard issued with ETSI, a European standards organization, “based on the specific needs posed by security threats to consumer devices.”
With the cybersecurity label, Traficom aims to raise consumer awareness of information security, as well as the safe use of connected devices. When Smart TVs, phones, and other connected devices are secure, users will be less at risk of being targets of data abuse, hacking, or data leaks, deterring cyberattackers from compromising their devices.
Director at National Cyber Security Centre Finland (NCSC-FI) at Traficom Jarkko Saarimäki explained, “The security level of devices in the market varies, and until now there has been no easy way for consumers to know which products are safe and which are not.” Per Traficom’s research, it found that every other Finnish citizen “is concerned about the cybersecurity of smart devices,” while two in three said it was important for devices to have easy-to-access security information.
The label was developed in late 2018 and was realized in a project led by the NCSC-FI along with Cozify Oy, DNA Plc and Polar Electro Oy. The cybersecurity labels is a signpost and incentive to customers and vendors, respectively. Vendors should see the labels as a driving force to creating a basic but uniform cybersecurity standard. It may be a small change, but its profound impact on cybersecurity and the IoT market should never be underestimated.