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Cyber protection laws introduced

7 May 2024

New consumer protections against hacking and cyber-attacks came into force at the end of April 2024. All internet connected smart devices will be required by law to meet minimum-security standards.

As of April 2024, new cyber protections for consumers against hacking and cyber-attacks are in effect. The law now requires all internet-connected smart devices to meet minimum-security standards.

The UK, the first country in the world to introduce such laws, now mandates manufacturers to secure devices with internet or network connectivity. These cyber protection laws apply to a range of devices, from smartphones and games consoles to connected fridges, against hackers and cyber criminals.

The new regime prohibits manufacturers from using weak, easily guessable default passwords like ‘admin’ or ‘12345’. If a device has a common password, the system will prompt the user to change it at start-up. This measure aims to prevent threats like the 2016 Mirai attack. That attack compromised 300,000 smart products due to weak security features and disrupted major internet platforms and services, leaving much of the US East Coast without internet. Since then, similar attacks have disrupted UK banks including Lloyds and RBS.

This move is a significant step towards enhancing the UK’s resilience against cyber-crime. Recent data shows that 99% of UK adults own at least one smart device, and UK households own an average of nine connected devices. The new cyber protection regime will boost customer confidence in purchasing and using products. This will help businesses and the economy grow.

A Which? investigation revealed that a home filled with smart devices could face over 12,000 hacking attacks worldwide in a single week. The study recorded a total of 2,684 attempts to guess weak default passwords on just five devices.

Source: Other Tue, 07 May 2024 00:00:00 +0100

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