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Government Aims to Increase Digital Protection Levels on Smart Devices

Friday, August 7, 2020 - 11:14 by Paul Tissington

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Smartphones are used for a huge variety of activities today, from safe shopping online to gaming, socialising and beyond. This means that vast reams of personal data are stored on them and transmitted by them, which creates something of a security conundrum for owners as well as regulators.

Thankfully, this week a new proposal announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport sets out the steps that will be taken to ensure that smart devices, including phones and watches, meet a unified security standard to protect private information from malicious third parties.

A trio of requirements will be set out in the standard, starting with the requirement that all devices are password-protected in a way that cannot allow for a universal approach to resetting them to factory defaults to be applied. Manufacturers will also be forced to create support services that will allow customers to let them know if a security vulnerability is detected.

Finally, the standard will set in stone a minimum amount of time over which subsequent security updates will be rolled out to devices to ensure that every gadget and device with an internet connection is shielded from the ever-evolving threats they face.

With billions of smart devices used worldwide, there is clearly a significant challenge facing regulators not only in the UK but also elsewhere internationally as they aim to stop citizens being exposed to breaches.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has expanded rapidly, with not only smartphones, tablets and smart watches included but also things like smart fridges and home security systems. Hopefully, this drive towards a security standard will be put into motion sooner rather than later, as it could potentially prevent a repeat of incidents in which connected devices have been compromised.