UK implements groundbreaking cybersecurity laws: Smart devices fortified against hackers

30/04/2024

NEW Government regulations mandate that all internet-connected smart devices, spanning from phones to TVs to smart doorbells, adhere to minimum-security standards by law. Groundbreaking legislation is in effect in the UK, aimed at shielding consumers and businesses from cyber threats.

This initiative, spearheaded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, the National Cyber Security Centre, the Office for Product Safety and Standards, along with the efforts of Julia Lopez MP and Viscount Camrose, marks a pivotal moment in safeguarding against cyber criminals.

Under these world-first laws, manufacturers are compelled to defend their products against hackers and cyber intrusions, effectively making the UK the global frontrunner in such protective measures.

Key provisions include the prohibition of easily guessed default passwords like ‘admin’ or ‘12345’, with users prompted to change any common passwords upon setup. This proactive approach aims to mitigate threats such as the notorious Mirai attack of 2016, which exploited weak security features in over 300,000 smart devices, wreaking havoc on major internet platforms and services, including significant disruptions on the US East Coast.

The significance of this legislation extends beyond immediate protection, as recent statistics reveal that nearly all UK adults possess at least one smart device, with households averaging nine connected devices. By instating these measures, not only are consumers shielded from potential cyber assaults, but their confidence in purchasing and utilising such products is bolstered, fostering economic growth and business expansion.

Oseloka Obiora, CTO, RiverSafe said: “There is no doubt smart devices have become a big part of our day to day lives, creating an open door for hackers to gain all kinds of personal information and data. Now, it is essential that we aim to make the UK a safer place online, in response to the increasing rise of cyber attacks.”

“To enhance readiness, security teams require robust network visibility to promptly identify and resolve vulnerabilities across systems, minimising the impact of cyber threats.”

Andy Ward, VP International for Absolute Security, commented: “With smart devices being increasingly hacked, it is necessary that new rules have been put in place to toughen cyber resilience and make the UK a safer place online.

As the UK confronts rising cyber threats, it’s crucial to strengthen cybersecurity by focusing on threat protection, deterring attacks, and preparing for defence for all internet-connected gadgets, especially in a world where smart devices are an integral part of our daily lives. Achieving this involves ensuring clear visibility and effective control over networks, and demanding a robust framework to improve network supervision and establish a solid defensive stance.”

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