The UK Government has developed new legislation designed to protect millions of internet-connected devices from cybersecurity attacks.
A 2019 consultation into proposals to regulate the Internet of Things (IoT) established that more transparency between consumers and manufacturers was essential, and that product security should be clearly communicated.
The new plans from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will ensure that all smart devices sold in the UK follow three requirements for IoT.
The requirements are that all internet-connected device passwords must be unique and cannot be reset to a product’s factory settings, that manufacturers of IoT devices must provide points of contact with the public so vulnerabilities can be reported quickly and easily, and that the length of time that security updates can be received by the device are stated when the product is purchased.
The measures were developed with the business industry and the National Cyber Security Centre to create new requirements for companies manufacturing and selling smart devices.
Digital Minister Matt Warman said: “We want to make the UK the safest place to be online with pro-innovation regulation that breeds confidence in modern technology.
“Our new law will hold firms manufacturing and selling internet-connected devices to account and stop hackers threatening people’s privacy and safety. It will mean robust security standards are built in from the design stage and not bolted on as an afterthought.”
John Moor, MD of IoT Security Foundation, said: “Over the past five years, there has been a great deal of concern expressed toward vulnerable consumers and inadequate cyber-security protection.
“Understanding the complex nature of IoT security and determining the minimum requirements has been a challenge, yet, after a thorough and robust consultation, those baseline requirements have now been universally agreed.”
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Research suggests that more than 75 billion internet connected devices, including televisions, cameras and home assistants will be used in British homes by 2025.
At the same time, cyber-attacks are becoming more common with increased internet usage. The Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey found that around a third of businesses (32%) and two in ten charities reported cyber security breaches or attacks in 2019. This has caused more understanding and co-operation and a stronger stance on security.