Cybersecurity

Report: UL in talks with White House on IoT certification

Wikimedia image: Underwriters Laboratories.

(Underwriters Laboratories / Wikimedia)

The White House’s interest in a security certification for Internet of Things (IOT) products appears to be gaining steam with standards firm Underwriters Laboratories in talks with the administration on how to develop such a program, Dark Reading reported.

“What the White House is trying to achieve is to foster collaboration between private and government sectors to come up with these standards,” the report quoted UL Director of Innovations Maarten Bron as saying. “Plans are still in the making from the White House.”

Top White House cybersecurity adviser Michael Daniel in April told Dark Reading that a nonprofit consortium that rates IOT products is an “intriguing” model that nonetheless may not “map completely” with the IOT.

If done right, a certification from UL, which has historically focused on electrical safety, “should raise the cybersecurity bar considerably,” wrote Cris Thomas, a strategist at Tenable Network Security. “At the very least, it should allow businesses and consumers to evaluate their risk when shopping for hardware and software devices.”

UL is also planning to release its own test and certification program for IOT products, the Dark Reading report said.

Federal IT officials have for some time been grappling with how to reckon with the explosion of connected devices that is the IOT. Ron Ross, a fellow in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Computer Security Division, has said the IOT is essentially indefensible because hackers will “have a slice of that pie that will always be accessible because there are things that are off our radar due to their complexity.”

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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