Government backs PSTI safeguards to end use of default passwords

Gambling leadership has been alerted to the government-backed Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) Bill – which aims to safeguard the use of smart devices.

Drafted by DCMS, the legislation will allow the government to ban universal default passwords and force firms to be transparent to customers about what they are doing to fix security flaws in connectable products.

The bill aims to combat a rise in home fraud, which has seen weak wifi security lead to plethora of problems, as hackers target webcams, televisions and other household items that link with the internet.

Manufacturers, importers and distributors of digital tech must ensure their products and services meet tough’ new cyber security standards’ – or be penalised with heavy fines for those who fail to comply.

Furthermore, in implementing the new set of standards, the government drew attention to a case involving a casino four years ago, when a fish tank was targeted by criminals as part of a lucrative hacking attempt.

Having been under consultation for an extended period of time, the legislation now takes initial steps into integration as the halting of easy-to-guess passwords takes hold, with firms requiring a unique password with each product.

Parliament supports PSTI as a measure that should help the UK speed-up its rollout of faster and more reliable broadband and mobile networks by making it easier for operators to upgrade and share infrastructure

Julia Lopez, Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure, commented: “Every day hackers attempt to break into people’s smart devices. Most of us assume if a product is for sale, it’s safe and secure. Yet many are not, putting too many of us at risk of fraud and theft.

“Our bill will put a firewall around everyday tech from phones and thermostats to dishwashers, baby monitors and doorbells, and see huge fines for those who fall foul of tough new security standards.”

The new legislation doesn’t solely apply to UK products, but also to tech products that enter the UK market and are available to consumers in the region.

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