UK Introduces New Cybersecurity Laws

UK Introduces New Cybersecurity Laws

Tyler Cross Tyler Cross
Published on: April 30, 2024

The UK signed new consumer protection laws into effect earlier this week. They are designed to protect against hackers and other cybersecurity concerns.

The new laws introduce a set of minimal cybersecurity standards that UK companies must abide by to sell their products. Manufacturers of phones, computers, and smart appliances like watches, refrigerators, game consoles, and doorbells will be outright banned if they fail to meet the standards.

The laws prohibit weak and reused passwords such as “password” or “12345.” These passwords are easily stolen and exploited by criminals. While a large corp using “12345” as a password sounds like a bad joke, a study by Demandsage explains that over 80% of global company data breaches are attributed to poor password practices.

Another problem the UK government is trying to address is poor company transparency. They’re forcing manufacturers to publish their contact details so customers can properly report bugs and design flaws. At the same time, these companies will have to provide customers with reports on when important security updates will arrive.

The goal is to help consumers protect themselves from hackers who take advantage of companies with lax cybersecurity practices to launch devastating attacks on their networks. While other countries have introduced cybersecurity standards that usually come with fines for violating, the UK is the first country to create laws that codify and enforce the standards.

“The use and ownership of consumer products that can connect to the internet or a network is growing rapidly. UK consumers should be able to trust that these products are designed and built with security in mind, protecting them from the increasing cyber threats to connectable devices,” writes OPSS Chief Executive, Graham Russell.

“As the UK’s product regulator, OPSS will be ensuring consumers can have that confidence by working with the industry to encourage innovation and compliance with these new laws.”

Currently, the government is creating a process to exempt certain automobiles from these rules. Instead, automobiles will have a unique set of laws pertaining to them.

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