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Government releases voluntary Code of Practice for IoT cyber security

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton have released a voluntary Code of Practice to improve the security of the internet of things (IoT) in Australia – including everyday devices such as smart fridges, smart televisions, baby monitors and security cameras.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton have released a voluntary Code of Practice to improve the security of the internet of things (IoT) in Australia – including everyday devices such as smart fridges, smart televisions, baby monitors and security cameras.

Many IoT devices commonly found in Australian homes and businesses have not been designed with security in mind this has resulted in devices being vulnerable to compromise via the internet.

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Such incidents can allow cyber criminals unsolicited access to your device and personal data for malicious purposes, as a result, Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said cyber security has never been more important to Australia’s economic prosperity.

"Internet-connected devices are increasingly part of Australian homes and businesses and many of these devices have poor security features that expose owners to compromise. Manufacturers should be developing these devices with security built in by design," Minister Dutton said. 

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the Australian Signals Directorate’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has also released quick and easy tips to help Australian consumers protect themselves against cyber threats when buying and using internet-connected devices.

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When purchasing and setting up an IoT device, some of the questions families and businesses should ask are:

  1. Is the device made by a well-known reputable company and sold by a well-known reputable company?
  2. Is it possible to change the password?
  3. Does the manufacturer provide updates?
  4. What data will the device collect and who will the data be shared with?

"Boosting the security and integrity of internet connected devices is critical to ensuring that the benefits and conveniences they provide can be enjoyed without falling victim to cyber criminals," Minister Reynolds explained. 

The ACSC has also produced guidance for manufacturers on how to implement the loT Code of Practice.

The Code of Practice is a key deliverable as part of the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy and has been developed in close partnership with industry following nationwide consultation earlier this year. It outlines the cyber security features the government expects of internet-connected devices available in Australia.

The Code of Practice also aligns and builds upon guidance provided by the UK, and is consistent with other international standards.

Government releases voluntary Code of Practice for IoT cyber security
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