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Securing Smart Devices: Mandatory Standards and Voluntary Cybersecurity Labels Set to Enhance Consumer Safety 

15/05/2024by admin0Read: 2 minutes

As part of the 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy, the Government unveiled plans to collaborate on potential legislation for a compulsory cybersecurity standard for Internet of Things (IoT) devices and introduce a voluntary labelling system for consumer-grade smart devices.

Current Issue: 

Presently, manufacturers of smart devices are not obligated to adhere to security standards, posing an elevated risk of vulnerability that could be exploited, exposing consumers to cyber threats. This situation incurs significant financial costs and societal repercussions, estimated at up to $29 billion annually. Consumers often struggle to differentiate between secure and insecure devices due to a lack of clear information, which hampers manufacturers’ incentives to prioritise security and leads to consumers unknowingly accepting cyber risks.

Proposal: 

Home Affairs has proposed a dual approach, combining a mandatory product standard with a voluntary labelling scheme for smart devices. The voluntary labelling scheme aims to offer consumers additional guidance for making informed decisions when purchasing smart devices, addressing existing information gaps in the market. Meanwhile, the mandatory product standard seeks to ensure that smart devices meet minimum security requirements.

Impact Assessment Outcome: 

Deemed adequate, the Impact Analysis could have further enhanced its clarity by providing a detailed discussion on how each option aligns with the policy objective. Additionally, a more thorough analysis of regulatory costs and the consequences of maintaining the status quo would have strengthened the assessment.

Regulatory Burden: 

The projected average annual regulatory cost for implementing mandatory standards for consumer smart devices is estimated at $49.5 million over 10 years, impacting manufacturers and retailers across the sector.

In light of these developments in cybersecurity standards and labelling for smart devices, businesses should recognise the importance of prioritising cybersecurity in their product development and supply chain processes. Proactively adhering to these standards not only safeguards consumers but also protects businesses from potential financial and reputational damages associated with cyber incidents.

Anitech’s experienced (Information Security Management System (ISMS) consultants can help businesses understand and implement the mandatory standards for consumer smart devices.

Drop an enquiry today at 1300 802 163 or e-mail – sales@anitechgroup.com.

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