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IoT smart devices- All Internet of Things and consumer smart devices will need to adhere to specific security requirements, under new government proposals.
The aim of the legislation is to help protect UK citizens and businesses from the threats posed by cyber criminals increasingly targeting Internet of Things devices.
By hacking IoT devices, cyber criminals can build an army of devices that can be used to conduct DDoS attacks to take down online services, while poorly-secured IoT devices can also serve as an easy way for hackers to get into networks and other systems across a network.
The proposed measures from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have been developed in conjunction with the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and come following a consultation period with information security experts, product manufacturers and retailers and others.
“Our new law will hold firms manufacturing and selling internet-connected devices to account and stop hackers threatening people’s privacy and safety,” said Matt Warman, minister for digital and broadband at DCMS.
They also follow on from the previously suggested voluntary best practice requirements, but the legislation would require that IoT devices sold in the UK must follow three particular rules to be allowed to sell products in the UK. They are:
- All consumer internet-connected device passwords must be unique and not resettable to any universal factory setting
- Manufacturers of consumer IoT devices must provide a public point of contact so anyone can report a vulnerability and it will be acted on in a timely manner
- Manufacturers of consumer IoT devices must explicitly state the minimum length of time that the device will receive security updates at the point of sale, either in store or online
It is currently unclear how these rules will be enforced under any future law. While the government has said that its “ambition” is to introduce legislation in this area, and said this would be done “as soon as possible”, there is no detail on when this would take place. A DCMS spokesperson told ZDNet that the department will be working with retailers and manufacturers as the proposals move forward.