An online platform designed to help IoT vendors receive, assess, manage, and mitigate vulnerability reports has been launched by the IoT Security Foundation (IoTSF). VulnerableThings.com aims to simplify the reporting and management of vulnerabilities whilst helping IoT vendors comply with new consumer IoT security standards and regulations.
As the first globally applicable standard for consumer IoT cybersecurity, the new ETSI EN 303 645 specification requires IoT vendors – which could include device manufacturers or importers/distributors – to publish a clear and transparent vulnerability disclosure policy; establish an internal vulnerability management procedure; make contact information for vulnerability reporting publicly available, and continually monitor for and identify security vulnerabilities within their products.
Governments around the world including in the UK, Australia, Singapore, Finland, and the American states of California and Oregon have already published codes of practice, product labeling schemes or prepared legislation aligned to the standard. Implementing a means to accept vulnerability reports is a common feature of these initiatives. Without mechanisms to report, manage, and resolve vulnerabilities – such as Co-ordinated Vulnerability Disclosure (CVD) – the security of consumer IoT products diminishes over time, and the risk of attack or abuse increases.
VulnerableThings.com aims to provide an off-the-shelf, user-friendly vulnerability management tool and other valuable member resources including policy templates, issue resolution guidelines, and a directory of specialist advisors to help IoT manufacturers prepare for emerging regulations and to maintain compliance. CVD must become an essential part of the culture of successful IoT vendors and needs to be understood and supported by a business’s board of directors, compliance officer, product managers, product development managers, product security, supply chain managers, and public relations teams.
Manufacturers that subscribe to VulnerableThings will have access to a dashboard that will guide them through the vulnerability resolution process and facilitate communication with the reporter. Where vulnerability is reported in a product from a vendor that hasn’t registered with the service, an alert will be sent to a public email address of the manufacturer who will then have the opportunity to securely access the details of the vulnerability report by coming to VulnerableThings. Access to VulnerableThings.com is available free until 31 January 2021. Subscribing to the service also provides access to professional support for co-ordinated disclosure announcements.
While vulnerabilities can be reported by any individual anonymously, by registering with VulnerableThings.com, security researchers are provided with a dashboard that allows them to monitor the progress towards resolving vulnerabilities they have reported to different manufacturers. Promoting dialogue between vendors and security researchers will contribute to the success of the IoT ecosystem.