The European Commission (EC) recently announced plans to enforce greater security on all wireless and IoT (internet of things) devices in the European market. Amendments to the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) will improve the protection of privacy and personal data, prevent monetary fraud, and ensure overall better security of communication networks. Manufacturers will have to comply with these new regulations in order to sell devices in the EU market.
The update to the security regulation is not a great surprise, especially considering the prevalence of IoT and wireless devices. Estimations suggest that more than five billion people own mobile phones worldwide—a number that’s only set to increase in future years. However, it isn’t just mobile devices that are covered under the new legislation; smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wireless toys will also see increased security measures.
The act will make it a legal requirement for wireless devices to be designed with cybersecurity safeguards in mind. According to the EC, the act is designed to protect citizens’ privacy and personal data, prevent the risks of monetary fraud, and ensure better resilience of communication networks.
Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market said that: “Cyber threats evolve fast; they are increasingly complex and adaptable. With the requirements we are introducing today, we will greatly improve the security of a broad range of products, and strengthen our resilience against cyber threats, in line with our digital ambitions in Europe. This is a significant step in establishing a comprehensive set of common European Cybersecurity standards for the products (including connected objects) and services brought to our market.”
There are three potential benefits of the new EC security measures: improved customer privacy, reduced risk of monetary fraud, and improved network resilience.
Improved consumer privacy. The protection of personal data is fundamentally important, especially as more and more children use wireless devices. Under the new legislation, manufacturers will need to implement measures to prevent the unauthorised access or transmission of personal data. This will help prevent the exploitation of vulnerable children and ensure consumer privacy.
Reduced risk of monetary fraud. To prevent fraud when making electronic payments, wireless devices and products will need to include features that will ensure better authentication control of the user. This change should stop increasing fraudulent activity when making virtual payments.
Improved network resilience. Wireless devices and IoTs will incorporate new features to avoid harming communication networks. Measures will also be taken to prevent the possibility that the devices are used to disrupt the functionality of websites and other services.
Thanks to the new EC regulation, future wireless devices and IoTs will be designed with innovative features to better protect personal data. Measures like this and others are taking on the ambitious task of increasing wireless device security in a bid to keep up with smartphone crime and stay one step ahead of criminals.
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