New law will protect Internet of Things

The government is to introduce a new set of legislation designed to protect consumers from having their Internet of Things (IoT) devices targeted by malicious hackers.

Gartner research suggests there could be 14.2 billion IoT-connected devices worldwide by the end of 2019, including smart speakers and fitness watches.

However, security vulnerabilities have been found in many in recent years, leading to fears cyber hackers could use them against their owners.

The new laws proposed by digital minister Margot James will include a range of measures designed to make such products safer, including a labelling system to inform buyers how secure they are and for how long security updates will be available.

A public point of contact will also be made available to whom cyber vulnerabilities can be reported.

"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," said Ms James.

National Cyber Security Centre spokesperson Dr Ian Levy called the move "innovative" and "good news for consumers".

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