Santa Rosa’s Keysight visits White House as tech firms pitch in effort to craft smart-device safety standards

Keysight Technologies is participating in the development of a national cybersecurity labeling program that sets the safety standard for smart devices, ranging from refrigerators and microwaves to televisions and fitness devices.

Representatives of the Santa Rosa tech firm joined 19 other companies in mid-July at the White House for a ceremonial unveiling of the program.

The U.S. Cyber Trust Mark, initiated by the Biden Administration and proposed by the Federal Communications Commission, aims to standardize the safety of devices referred to as the “Internet of Things,” or IoT, devices with software, sensors or tech exchanges data with other devices through the internet. Much like the nutrition labels on cereal boxes, a distinct safety shield logo would be applied to products deemed to pass the certification criteria.

The FCC is applying to register a national trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. After a public comment period, the safety standard may be operational by January.

Studies by data security companies have shown cyberattacks on these devices on the rise in the last year, with some involving personal operations in the home such as room monitors for babies and pets.

Scott Register is Keysight Technologies vice president of security solutions. (Courtesy: Keysight Technologies)
Scott Register is Keysight Technologies vice president of security solutions. (Courtesy: Keysight Technologies)

“There are so many devices being added. And now, your thermostat on the wall can have more computing power than the old space shuttle,” Keysight Vice President of Security Solutions Scott Register told the Business Journal.

Register, who attended the White House function, confirmed that the safety standard is long overdue, and working on it is rewarding.

“It feels really good to build something that will protect so many people,” he said.

Keysight will use its expertise in testing software to contribute to the program. Specifications may be finalized in a few months.

Manufacturers and retailers that have already committed to using the program include Amazon, Best Buy, Google, LG Electronics, Logitech and Samsung.

Kevin Kraus, vice president of technology alliances and IoT business development for San Francisco home-lock manufacturer Yale and August, also attended the White House ceremony.

“The security and privacy of our customers is our top priority. We are excited for the launch of this program as it shares our commitment to make IoT devices safe, secure and convenient for consumers,” Kraus said.

Susan Wood covers law, cannabis, production, tech, energy, transportation, agriculture, banking and finance. She can be reached at 530-545-8662 or susan.wood@busjrnl.com

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