Government acts to beef up data security for IoT devices

DataIQ News

Companies which develop 'smart' devices such as televisions, toys and speakers found in millions of homes will be expected to build-in tough new security measures that last the lifetime of the product, as part of Government plans to keep the nation safe from the increasing cyber threat.

Developed in collaboration with manufacturers, retailers and the National Cyber Security Centre, the Government's Security by Design review lays out plans to embed security in the design process rather than bolt them on as an afterthought.

It is estimated that every household in the UK owns at least 10 Internet connected devices and this is expected to increase to 15 devices by 2020, meaning there may be more than 420 million in use across the country within three years.

The Government said it will work with industry to implement a new code of practice to improve the cyber security of consumer Internet-connected devices and associated services, while continuing to encourage innovation in new technologies.i

The new code will include measure to make firms ensure that sensitive data which is transmitted over apps or products is encrypted as well as make it easy for consumers to delete personal data on devices and products.

Alongside these measures, the Government wants to develop a product labelling scheme so consumers are aware of a product's security features at the point of purchase. It will work closely with retailers and consumer organisations to provide advice and support.

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."