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Government Boost Security of Smart Products

It was announced earlier this week that the government are to advance plans to boost the security of smart products to help protect smart devices from cyber-attacks. Back in May, the government launched a £400,000 fund to design a scheme with the aim to boost the security of internet-connected devices. The proposals were drawn up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, National Cyber Security Centre and published on 16th July 2020.

The first step is to ensure the new standards guarantee that smart devices comply with three important factors:
1. Unique device passwords that are not resettable to universal factory settings
2. Manufacturers are to provide a point of contact for the public so they can report vulnerabilities
3. Information stating the minimum length of time for which the device will receive security updates must be provided to customers

These factors may be expanded over time after consultations with stakeholders.

UK 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 the software to help protect themselves from cybercriminals”.

According to research from Statista, there are approximately 20 billion smart devices in use across the globe, but only 13% of manufacturers are using any type of approach to cybersecurity. Thus, privacy and security are at risk. This announcement from the government is a huge step towards ensuring that correct security protocols are followed with regards to smart products, ensuring the safety of the end-users’ details from cyber-hackers.
As we live in a generation of rapid technological advancements and innovations, this proposal will look to future-proof legislations. The government will look towards industry and academics groups to feed back on the plan.


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