EU Proposes Sticky Labels for IoT Designations

As the European Union aims to speed up internet connections to meet the needs of big industries like car manufacturing and agriculture as they gradually use more internet function, some companies worry that new products and industrial tools that rely on the internet will be more vulnerable to attacks from hackers.

One possible solution by the European Union is a labeling system that approves and secures internet-connected devices. According to EurActiv.com, "The E.U. labeling system that rates appliances based on how much energy they consume could be a template for the cybersecurity ratings."

Thibault Kleiner, deputy head of cabinet for digital policy chief Günther Oettinger, said “That’s really a problem in the internet of things. It’s not enough to just look at one component. You need to look at the network, the cloud. You need a governance framework to get certification."

Kleiner said the Commission would encourage companies to come up with a labeling system for internet-connected devices that are approved and secure, EurActiv.com reported.

Some hardware manufacturers are skeptical of the Commission’s plans to require certification for different parts of internet-connected devices and instead want hardware like SIM cards to be approved as security guarantees that can be used with appliances, Kleiner acknowledged.

The proposed “Trusted IoT Label” the European Commission is looking at would give consumers “transparent information about different levels of privacy and security” as well as details about compliance with Europe’s security directive.

According to Naked Security, "getting to a situation where products are sold with labels that promise an agreed level of security seems some way off. One hurdle is simply the diversity of products that are IoT-enabled, including motor cars, TVs, smart watches, home thermostats, smart meters, lighting systems, and home security. The IoT is suddenly everything and that will slow down the creation of common privacy and security standards."

The European Union is doing its best to speed up development, investing €192 million in IoT research as part of its Horizon 2020 programme.

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