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Cyber/Physical Security Guidelines for the Safety and Security of Smart Homes Formulated

April 1, 2021

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has formulated the Cyber/Physical Security Guidelines for the Safety and Security of Smart Homes. The guidelines organize matters regarding cyber/physical security measures in smart homes and the minimum necessary measures that each stakeholder should consider.

1. Background and purpose

On March 13, 2018, METI inaugurated a Smart Home Sub-Working Group (SWG) under Working Group (WG) 1 of the Study Group for Industrial Cybersecurity. Since then, the SWG has been examining the concepts regarding basic guidelines ensuring that smart homes will be safe and secure places to live in.

Smart homes are a core area in the field of “smart life”, one of the priority fields in the "Connected Industries" Japan is promoting. They are "a new way of life where IoT is used to deliver services that meet a variety of lifestyles/needs, such as families with small children, elderly people, and people living alone." IoT-enabled household facilities, appliances, and other devices will be linked to the services to benefit residents and their stakeholders.

On the other hand, in ordinary homes, there is often no consistent plan for introducing, maintaining, and operating IoT equipment. In addition, there is also the potential that it will be misused. With some services, problems in cyberspace can cause unexpected problems in physical space, such as doors being unlocked or people getting locked in. To address these kinds of problems, it is essential to consider further measures additional to conventional device-specific cybersecurity ones, including a variety of stakeholders in the process, and also taking into account the characteristics of the homes and their residents.

For this reason, with a view toward formulating a set of guidelines on cyber/physical security measures regarding smart homes, the Smart Home SWG has examined the concepts involved and draft guidelines containing the minimum necessary measures that each stakeholder should consider. Efforts it made in this regard included gathering comments from the public from July 29 to August 31, 2020.

The "Cyber/Physical Security Guidelines for the Safety and Security of Smart Homes" were formulated based on the discussions by the above-mentioned WG1 and Smart Home SWG. In order to meet the needs of stakeholders with diverse knowledge and backgrounds, the guidelines group the security measures into stages, from simple countermeasure guides to specific countermeasure requirements and comparisons with international standards. METI hopes that using these guidelines will advance efforts to ensure the safety and security of smart home residents.

2. Related materials

3. References

Division in Charge

Cybersecurity Division, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau