We are in a connected world more than ever and its not slowing down and the government have announced new cyber security laws to protect smart devices. Makers of smart devices including phones, speakers, and doorbells will need to tell customers upfront how long a product will be guaranteed to receive vital security updates under groundbreaking plans to protect people from cyber attacks.
New figures commissioned by the government show almost half (49%) of UK residents have purchased at least one smart device since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. These everyday products – such as smart watches, TVs and cameras – offer a huge range of benefits, yet many remain vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Just one vulnerable device can put a user’s network at risk. In 2017, attackers infamously succeeded in stealing data from a North American casino via an internet-connected fish tank. In extreme cases hostile groups have taken advantage of poor security features to access people’s webcams.
To counter this threat, the government is planning a new law to make sure virtually all smart devices meet new requirements:
Smartphones are the latest product to be put in scope of the planned Secure By Design legislation, following a call for views on smart device cyber security the government has responded to today.
It comes after research from consumer group Which? found a third of people kept their last phone for four years, while some brands only offer security updates for a little over two years.
Everyone should follow NCSC guidance and change default passwords as well as regularly update apps and software to help protect their devices from cyber criminals when purchased and set up.
Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said:
Our phones and smart devices can be a gold mine for hackers looking to steal data, yet a great number still run older software with holes in their security systems.
We are changing the law to ensure shoppers know how long products are supported with vital security updates before they buy and are making devices harder to break into by banning easily guessable default passwords.
The reforms, backed by tech associations around the world, will torpedo the efforts of online criminals and boost our mission to build back safer from the pandemic.
Security updates are a crucial tool for protecting people against cyber criminals trying to hack devices.
One of the key critical elements to keep you and your family, and business safe is your network security. I applaud the efforts here to bring in regulation to help manufacturers be open to provide consumers with information, but there is a key step that you can do yourself.
Having a secure network most people know however, are you properly managing how your smart devices (lights, hubs etc) are all connected?
Installing and correctly configuring your DrayTek router as part of your Smart Home will add the right level of protection for your data and network. By correctly allowing the flow of data via various channels and through approved routes, you can carefully keep data separate if needed so that the Smart Devices don’t go near the important data.
These routers are business grade and work ideally for home, home-office and small business on their own or part of a network.
If you’re unsure what you need for your network, get in touch and we can talk through your home or office needs. We’re approved DrayTek retails and Certified Network Administrators so can help not only select the right products but help install them. Equally, we can provide ongoing support if required.