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Consumer Smart Device Security – £400,000 investment

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UK Government’s Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman announces a £400,000 fund to help facilitate innovators with design schemes to improve the security of internet-connected products.

Smart products & the Internet of Things (IoT) are to be supported by a programme that aims to improve the development of the market of assurance schemes for consumers.

The assurance schemes should help show that a device has been independently tested or has been through a solid & accredited self-assessment process.

Major aspects

  • Innovators encouraged to bid for funding to help security assurance of consumer smart devices
  • Fund of £400k to support the market of industry-led assurance schemes for fast growing ‘Internet of Things’ sector
  • Smart device owners urged to change default passwords & regularly update apps & software

It means manufacturers can select from a variety of schemes to show their product has undergone independent testing or a robust self-assessment process in line with the government’s Code of Practice for Consumer IoT Security.

Also, it should help retailers make sure they are stocking secure internet-connected devices.

75 billion

Research has identified 75 billion internet-connected devices, such as TVs, cameras, home assistants & their associated services, in homes worldwide by the close of 2025.

Digital Minister Matt Warman commented “We are committed to making the UK the safest place to be online and are developing laws to make sure robust security standards for consumer internet-connected products are built in from the start.

“This new funding will allow shoppers to be sure the products they are buying have better cyber-security & help retailers be confident they are stocking secure smart products.

Default Passwords

“People should continue to change default passwords on their smart devices & regularly update the software to help protect themselves from cyber-criminals.”

Led by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), the initiative comes as the govt. is moving legislation to bring into new law minimum security requirements for smart devices.

Legislation

The legislation announced earlier in 2020 will ensure that all consumer smart devices sold in the UK conform to 3 rigorous security requirements:

  • Device passwords must be unique & not resettable to any universal factory setting
  • Manufacturers must provide a public point of contact so anyone can report a vulnerability
  • Manufacturers must state the minimum length of time for which the device will receive security updates.

The govt. is working with other govts & global standards bodies, e.g. ETSI, to move forward with a consistent, global approach to the ‘cyber-security of smart devices.’

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