February 22, 2024

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Singapore-Germany Agreement on Cybersecurity Labels for Smart Products

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A Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on cybersecurity labels has been signed by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and the Federal Office for Information Security of Germany (BSI).

Cybersecurity Labelling Strategy (CLS) by the CSA is the first multi-level labelling scheme in the Asia-Pacific region. Under the policy, smart devices will be rated from Level 1 to Level 4 based on how well they protect information.

Smart consumer items issued with the IT Security Label from Germany and the Cybersecurity Label from Singapore will be recognised in both countries under the MRA. Items bearing the BSI label will be recognised by the CSA as having met the standards for CLS Level 2, while BSI will recognise products with CLS Levels 2 and higher.

Smart cameras, smart TVs, smart speakers, smart toys, smart garden and home robots, gateways and hubs for home automation, health trackers, smart lighting, smart plug (smart power socket), and smart thermostats are just a few examples of consumer electronics that will be covered by the mutual recognition of cybersecurity labels.

Starting with basic computing devices like computers, smartphones, and tablets that are made to run any apps without a specific purpose in mind, the MRA will not cover some items like Smart Door Locks, Fire/Gas/Water Detectors, and Smart Door Locks. More product categories will be gradually recognised under the MRA, according to CSA and BSI.

After Finland, Germany is the second nation to formally announce its recognition of Singapore’s national cybersecurity labels. At SICW 2021, the CSA and the Transport and Communications Agency of Finland signed their first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (Traficom). Consumer IoT devices with the Finland Cybersecurity Label will be acknowledged as having met the requirements of CLS Level 3, and vice versa.

These agreements will be advantageous to producers of smart consumer electronics since they will save money and time on duplicative testing and have easier access to new markets. Signify, Polar, and ASUS are a few businesses that have profited from the MOU between Singapore and Finland.

Eight products from Polar Electro’s multi-sport watches and Signify’s smart lighting system received the first CLS Level 3 designations under the MoU. The first Traficom cybersecurity labels granted under the MoU were given to seven Wi-Fi 6 routers made by ASUS. The CLS label has been given to more than 200 items as of October 2022, including routers, smart lights, and smart cameras.

Meanwhile, the CSA and the Association of Trade & Commerce (Singapore) [ATC] have recently launched a new SME Cybersecurity Excellence Award to recognise small and medium-sized businesses in Singapore that are dedicated to cybersecurity, according to Tan Kiat How, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information and Ministry of National Development.

The long-running Singapore SME 500 Awards are managed by ATC, who also collaborated on the creation of the SME Cybersecurity Excellence Award. Cybersecurity is a vital and essential component of operations for organisations that have gone digital. One further need must be met by businesses before they can apply for the SME Cybersecurity Excellence Award: they must have earned the Cyber Essentials mark.

Following the implementation of the CSA’s Cyber Essentials and Cyber Trust in March 2022, the SME Cybersecurity Award will encourage firms to put cybersecurity at the heart of their operations. More than 60 businesses have applied for the two trust marks as of this writing, of which 31 and 12 businesses, respectively, have earned Cyber Essentials and Cyber Trust.

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