IT Systems and Data Protection

16.07.20

Government proposals to boost cyber security of smart products

The Government has published proposals today (July 16) for a new law outlining security requirements for smart devices, which could protect millions of users from cyber criminals.

Drawn up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and backed by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the proposals highlight Government plans to increase security standards on all smart products sold in the UK.

Initially, three key steps will make up the requirements, with the potential of expansion following consultation.

These requirements are: Ensuring the devise password is unique and not resettable to any universal factory setting, creating a public point of contact so anyone can report a vulnerability and delivering information stating the minimum length of time the device will receive security updates to customers.

The proposals cover how industry can comply with the rules and outline potential new powers for the enforcement body, including temporary bans on sale of product, a recall notice, penalty notices or permanent bans, if the product breeches regulation.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said:

“This is a significant step forward in our plans to help make sure smart products are secure and people’s privacy is protected.

“I urge organisations to respond to these proposals so we can make the UK the safest place to be online with pro-innovation regulation that inspires consumer confidence in our tech products.

“People should continue to change default passwords on their smart devices and regularly update software to help protect themselves from cyber criminals.”

Smart devices can include smart speakers, kitchen appliances, phones or cameras and research suggests there are now 20 billion of these devices in use around the world. This ‘Internet of Things’ is also being developed to provide more efficient public services, such as waste solutions and street lighting.

Today’s proposals will aim to future proof legislation on smart devises and the Government will be calling on industry, academics and consumers for feedback.

 LISTEN: Ep. 21 - Isle of Wight fighting Covid-19 with the digital edge

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