The UK government has launched a voluntary code of practice for the manufacturers of smart devices and those connected via the Internet of Things in a bid to improve their security.
These devices are becoming ever-more commonplace and include everything from smartwatches and virtual assistants to children’s toys. However, there are concerns that cyber security isn’t always front of mind during their development.
Under this new code of conduct, businesses will commit to strengthening the cyber security of any new products from the design stage.
Centrica Hive Ltd and HP Inc are the first organisations to commit to the code, but it’s hoped that many more will follow.
An increased focus on cyber security is likely to produce a need for a more robust software test process to ensure that faults and potential weaknesses are discovered early on and fixed.
Which? managing director of home products and services Alex Neill commented: “Manufacturers of these smart devices must now show they are taking security seriously and and sign up to the code to better protect consumers who use their products everyday.”
A number of experts recently told the BBC that the rush to develop smart cities needs to be rethought, because the security of connected devices is unlikely to be robust enough and could therefore leave millions of people open to cyber attacks.
One of the reasons more robust security is sidelined in the cheaper connected devices available, according to Dave Burstein, editor of WirelessOne.news, is that building better security into these products will drive up their cost and mean their battery life is shorter.