Wednesday 1 May 2019 12:01 am

Government to introduce new cybersecurity laws for internet-connected devices

The government will roll out new laws to ensure household items that are connected to the internet are better protected from cyber attacks.

Under new plans unveiled today, the government will consult on a series of potential measures to ensure products feature basic cybersecurity features.

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One of the options the government is exploring is a mandatory new labelling scheme, which will tell consumers how secure their products are. Under new regulations, retailers would only be allowed to sell products with an approved security label.

Other strategies include ensuring devices have unique passwords and setting up vulnerability disclosure policies for manufacturers.

The new measures come as the UK gears up for the expansion of the internet of things (IoT), which will see a huge rise in the number of household items that are connected to the internet.

The laws will be aimed at safeguarding common products such as smart TVs, toys and appliances, amid fears the IoT will give criminals greater opportunities to launch cyber attacks.

“Many consumer products that are connected to the internet are often found to be insecure, putting consumers privacy and security at risk,” said digital minister Margot James.

“These new proposals will help to improve the safety of internet-connected devices and is another milestone in our bid to be a global leader in online safety.”

Read more: Government urges businesses to ramp up cyber security

Julian David, chief executive of industry body Tech UK, welcomed the consultation into cybersecurity for consumer IoT.

“The proposals set out have the potential to positively impact the security of devices made across the world and it is good to see the government is working with international partners to ensure a consistent approach to IoT security,” he said.