Product Security Verified label to confirm smart home device security

A new Product Security Verified (PSV) label will in future be used to identify smart home devices which meet new industry standards designed to protect against hacking and data breaches.

It’s the latest initiative by the industry alliance behind the Matter standard, of which Apple is a member …

The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA)

The Connectivity Standards Alliance was first formed back in 2019, to develop a standard that would allow smart home kit by different companies to work together seamlessly. Originally known as the CHIP Alliance, it was later renamed, and the agreed standard was named Matter.

Matter effectively does the same job as HomeKit: Ensuring different devices all work together, and can be controlled by a single app (the Home app, in Apple’s case).

Although HomeKit already met this need, it wasn’t as widely supported as many of us had hoped. It was common to see smart home devices marketed as compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, but without HomeKit certification. Now that Matter is an industry standard, it’s much easier to buy devices which can be controlled by Siri and the Home app.

Product Security Verified label

The CSA has now announced a further initiative, this time with a security focus. It follows a succession of security failures in smart home devices, most notably in the area of security cameras.

The alliance says that devices will only be awarded the label if they meet seven criteria:

  • Unique identity for each IoT Device
  • No hardcoded default passwords
  • Secure storage of sensitive data on the Device
  • Secure communications of security-relevant information
  • Secure software updates throughout the support period
  • Secure development process, including vulnerability management
  • Public documentation regarding security, including the support period

The Verge reports that the idea is to make it easy for consumers to identify secure products.

“Research continually shows that consumers rate security as an important device purchase driver, but they don’t know what to look for from a security perspective to make an informed purchase decision,” Eugene Liderman, director of mobile security strategy at Google, tells The Verge. “Programs like this will give consumers a simple, easily identifiable indicator to look for.”

It will take time for manufacturers to get their products certified, but it’s hoped to have the first PSV labelled smart home device on sale before the end of the year.

Photo by Sebastian Scholz (Nuki) on Unsplash

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