German government expands digital security label for iot devices

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The German government has extended the seal of approval that can represent the security of IoT devices to all ‘smart devices’. Previously, only certain devices, such as smart TVs and speakers, could carry the seal of approval.

The label is according to the German Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik a quality mark with which manufacturers can indicate that products meet certain safety requirements. This label already existed, but was previously only available for smart cameras, loudspeakers, cleaning and garden robots, toys and television sets. Now all smart consumer electronics are eligible for the label.

Consumers who find the label on the packaging of iot or smart devices can scan the QR code on the label to get more information about the alleged security of the device via a product page. The product page then states that the manufacturer claims to comply with the regulations of the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik, BSI for short, and which safety measures apply to the smart device.

However, the label does not guarantee that the product is absolutely safe and that the safety measures will still apply after the expiry of the label. For most products, that term is two years. The BSI can check whether the claims of the manufacturers correspond with reality. If not, the manufacturer must discontinue use of the label and it will show on the product page of any device that had the label.

The label is based on the European security standard ETSI EN 303 645. This standard was introduced in 2020 by the European Telecommunications and Standardization Institute and prescribes, among other things, that IoT devices must have a unique password or a password that can be set by the users themselves. In addition, there are other provisions that apply.

According to the BSI, the number of smart devices with intelligent and useful functions for consumers is growing at a rapid pace. The cybersecurity center claims that the need for IT security for these devices is also growing and states that the label should ensure transparency regarding security for these devices. In this way, BSI believes that IT security will become an important factor in smart device purchasing decisions.

German government label

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