Consumer Reports, Inc.

To design and validate a cybersecurity labeling system for Internet of Things (IoT) devices to reduce individual and societal threats, and to support new Sloan fellows

  • Amount $1,148,509
  • City Yonkers, NY
  • Investigator Ben Moskowitz
  • Year 2022
  • Program Public Understanding
  • Sub-program New Media

The Internet of things (IoT) has transformed our lives and become an integral part of the home environment—estimates calculate there are now 75 billion connected devices worldwide, generating around 180 trillion gigabytes of data each year. That data includes personal and sensitive information that is constantly being compromised in various, largely hidden ways, leaving consumers exposed to data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other violations. This grant supports efforts by Consumer Reports, led by Ben Moskowitz, to design a cybersecurity labeling system for IoT devices. Modeled on Nutrition Facts-like labels that allow consumers to compare products and make informed choices, the new labeling system would evaluate products and services based on how well, or how badly, they safeguard consumer privacy and security. Grant funds will allow Moskovitz’s team to continue testing the privacy and security of consumer IoT products, prototype a functional IoT security label, and conduct usability testing, consumer education, and other validation work to prepare for a successful launch of a national consumer IoT labeling scheme. The project promises to inform and empower consumers with immediate, clear, actionable insights while driving security-improving innovation.

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