Oct 21, 2022 - Technology

Survey: Consumers are eager for an IoT cybersecurity label

Data: BlackBerry's Cyber IoT Device Labeling Survey; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: BlackBerry's Cyber IoT Device Labeling Survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

Pursuing an "Energy Star" program measuring the cybersecurity of a smart device could solve a fundamental problem facing manufacturers: consumers don't trust the security of their internet-connected products.

By the numbers: Fewer than 10% of U.S. adults in a new BlackBerry survey said they believe robot vacuums, smart refrigerators, smart air purifiers, smart ovens, pet cameras and autonomous vehicles are safe from cyber threats.

  • Only one in five adults thought smart speakers are safe from cyber threats, the highest-ranked device among the 10 included in the survey.
  • 80% of adults said a cybersecurity "star rating" system would make them feel safer while using an internet-connected device.

Why it matters: Many companies have raised questions about whether consumers would be willing to pay more for devices that are considered more cyber safe, said Yuvraj Agarwal, one of the Carnegie Mellon University researchers behind the school's cyber label program.

  • But, per BlackBerry's survey conducted last Friday, 64% of adults say they're prepared to pay more for a device that has been rated as having the highest cybersecurity "star" rating.

Yes, but: Just like those who attended the White House's meeting this week, U.S. adults are split on what role the government should play in this effort.

  • 50% said they think the U.S. government should be in charge of overseeing required cybersecurity and privacy standards for IoT devices.

Sign up for Axios’ cybersecurity newsletter Codebook here.

Go deeper