Cyber security boost for internet-connected devices

Companies who produce smart devices will be expected to build-in tough new security measures that last the lifetime of the product to boost cyber security.

Developed alongside the National Cyber Security Centre, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport’s Secure by Design review review lays out plans to embed security in the design process rather than attach them on as an afterthought.

It is reported that every household in the UK owns at least 10 internet connected devices and this is expected to increase to 15 devices by 2020. This means that there could be more than 420 million in use across the country within three years, meaning that online security, privacy, safety need to be properly monitored.

The Secure by Design report will encourage firms to make sure: all passwords on new devices and products are unique and not resettable to a factory default, such as ‘admin’; that they have a vulnerability policy and public point of contact so security researchers and others can report issues immediately and they are quickly acted upon; that sensitive data which is transmitted over apps or products is encrypted; that software is automatically updated and there is clear guidance on updates to customers; that it is easy for consumers to delete personal data on devices and products; and installation and maintenance of devices is easy.

Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said: “We want everyone to benefit from the huge potential of internet-connected devices and it is important they are safe and have a positive impact on people’s lives. We have worked alongside industry to develop a tough new set of rules so strong security measures are built into everyday technology from the moment it is developed. This will help ensure that we have the right rules and frameworks in place to protect individuals and that the UK continues to be a world-leading, innovation-friendly digital economy.”

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