21 April 2021
Against a background of booming sales of smart devices and consumers increasingly relying on connected products at work and at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK Government has decided that the pace of cybersecurity improvement needs to be accelerated.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced that as soon as parliamentary time allows it will introduce a new law to protect people from cyber attacks caused by vulnerabilities in 'Internet of Things' (IoT) smart devices such as phones, speakers, doorbells, watches, toys, TVs, cameras, and yes - smart fridges too.
Under the new legislation it is proposed that:
- easy-to-guess default passwords will be banned
- companies will have to make it easier for people to report software bugs that could be exploited by hackers
- manufacturers will need to tell customers buying devices how long their purchase will receicve guaranteed security updates
- devices will have to meet new (stricter) standards
It is understood that the new law will have teeth. An as yet unnamed enforcement body will be given powers to investigate allegations of non-compliance and take steps to ensure compliance. It will have powers to issue corrective measures, sanctions and in the most serious cases instigate criminal proceedings.
No timetable for the introduction of the new law has yet been announced.
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