UK to ban default passwords in smart home devices

November 25, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
UK to ban default passwords in smart home devices
The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) bill is intended to boost the security of 5G and broadband networks and smart home systems

The UK government is introducing legislation to improve the security of smart home devices, eliminating default passwords and other vulnerabilities. There will also be a requirement for distributors to ensure that the systems they sell have sufficient security.

The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) Bill aims better protect citizens, networks and infrastructure from insecure consumer connectable products as well as boost the rollout of gigabit-capable broadband and 5G networks.

Part 1 of the bill is intended to make sure consumer connectable products, such as smart TVs, internet-connectable cameras and speakers, are more secure against cyber attacks, protecting individual privacy and security.

Forecasts suggest that there could be up to 50 billion connectable products worldwide by 2030, and on average there are nine in each UK household.

However, the adoption of cyber security requirements within these products is poor, and only 1 in 5 manufacturers embed basic security requirements in consumer connectable products.

Under the bill, manufacturers, importers and distributors will have to comply with new security requirements relating to consumer connectable products and create an enforcement regime with civil and criminal sanctions aimed at preventing insecure products being sold in the UK. After the bill is passed, there will be at least 12 months notice to enable manufacturers, importers and distributors to adjust their business practices before the legislative framework fully comes into force.

The product security measures follow extensive engagement with the National Cyber Security Centre, tech and retail industry stakeholders, consumer groups and academia in 2019 and 2020.

Part 2 of the bill covers Telecommunications Infrastructure measures, supporting the quick and efficient rollout of gigabit-capable broadband and 5G networks that is says balances the interests of landowners, telecoms

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