Applied safety science company UL Solutions opened its doors last week (1st March) to its IoT department to discuss with industry professionals the state of play in the IoT sphere. The full day consisted of research reports, demonstrations, and lectures about incoming regulations, which with UL Solutions, among other things, being a compliance solution provider, featured heavily.
To start with, attendees were treated with some home-grown research from UL Solutions from its Italy office to see what the general public’s sentiments on IoT smart devices were. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gen-Z and millennials were the widest adopters of the technology; main reason for purchasing being ‘convenience’, most people installed the devices themselves and the main concerns surrounding smart home devices were cybersecurity risks and health concerns.
The talks then moved on to ‘market surveillance’, what was the zeitgeist and what to look out for. This nicely segued to a main topic on making sure regulation is complied with when exporting devices abroad to other markets. The ‘Bringing connected products to market’ section focused on the EU Radio Equipment and US and Canadian requirements, with the speakers reminding attendees that some markets need product testing in the actual country and won’t accept testing from other countries. UL Solutions offers guidance to those seeking to export such devices into other countries and can also help understand the nuances of what counts as compliance in each country.
The sessions then split into two: Smart Home and Smart Healthcare, with each having a focusing on cybersecurity – with the former discussing issues surrounding the RE-Directive and cybersecurity article 3.3. Staying topical, the Smart Home session then began touching on ‘Matter’ the new technology for the smart home.
“More than 50% of smart home devices will ship supporting Matter,” the host told the session. Matter is the first time many of the big tech giants: Google, Microsoft etc. have worked together on a joint ecosystem for smart devices. Formerly called Project Connected Home over IP, it is a proprietary standard for home automation that is royalty-free, with manufacturers only incurring certification costs. “The implementation of Matter is about end to end encryption and cybersecurity,” the session host continued.
The session then ended with a live demonstration of a ‘man in the middle’ attack on a smart device, harking back to the research which shows cybersecurity is a big concern of the public when it comes to smart home devices, to show how a malicious hacker could take control, and perhaps even allow the audience to ponder how new proprietary standards like Matter could change the threats current IoT-enabled devices face.
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