When the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) is enforced most probably in 2027, it will impact IoT manufacturers, importers, and distributors. For manufacturers, cybersecurity will need to be considered by default starting from the design and development phases. Prevention of exploitable vulnerabilities and protecting end users begin with fulfilling obligations in the areas of security and vulnerability handling. So not only do manufacturers have to develop secure IoT products, they need to be prepared to handle issues and incidents along with protecting sensitive user data.
Here’s few things you need to do to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to the latest IoT cybersecurity requirements:
Identify exploitable vulnerabilities
To adapt and adopt the latest IoT cybersecurity requirements, you need to recognize at which point in the design, development, production, and deployment phases your product is likely to be exposed to exploitable vulnerabilities. This involves understanding any security gaps that may occur when the products have moved along in the supply chain, such as in the hands of importers and distributors.
Educate your users
Because you are responsible for handling vulnerabilities and the protection of all the confidential data that your product stores, transmits, and processes, it would be in your best interest to educate your users on how to protect their IoT devices from cyberattacks. This may involve including a physical guide sheet included with the product or giving them access to an online document with cybersecurity recommendations. Some of these best practices and tips may include disconnecting their IoT devices when they are not in use, changing their default router settings, picking a strong password, and keeping software and firmware updated.
Develop a cybersecurity framework
While the CRA gives you a guideline to follow, your company should have a clear and defined framework to follow. This framework shouldn’t only dictate the processes and programs to maintain cybersecurity standards during design and development, but should also outline how regularly you will perform tests and reviews on the product’s securities so that they remain safe in the consumer’s hands. And when the tests and reviews expose any vulnerabilities, you should be prepared to deploy security updates and patches for free.
Keep proper records of all issues and incidents
Maintaining proper records of all issues and incidents help you identify trends and patterns. Some of these reports may demonstrate that you are not keeping up with the evolution of cyber attacks and consequently, cybersecurity practices. It may also show that you have gaps and weaknesses within your internal operations that need assessment.
Commit to reporting identified issues
Reporting any identified issues and incidents as soon as you become aware of them isn’t only for your safety and the users, but also keeps you compliant with the latest IoT requirements and is for the benefit of the whole industry. With the CRA, you are required to report any issues within 24 hours of identifying them. And failure to report these incidents can lead to hefty fines and even the banning of your product from European markets.
Finally, the dawn of the CRA is not merely a regulatory shift but a clarion call for IoT stakeholders to reevaluate, recalibrate, and recommit to unprecedented levels of cybersecurity. Manufacturers are no longer just creators; they're custodians of users' trust and guardians against cyber threats. As we transition into this new era, it's imperative for businesses to proactively anticipate challenges, ensuring that cybersecurity isn't just a checklist, but an ingrained philosophy. By staying informed, vigilant, and responsive, companies can not only meet the requirements set by the CRA but lead the charge in setting global standards for IoT cybersecurity. Embrace this journey, for in bolstering defenses and fostering trust, we pave the way for a safer, more resilient digital future.