Dutch cybersecurity council warns of looming IoT security issues

Friday 12 January 2018 | 09:45 CET | News

The Cybersecurity Council of the Netherlands has recommended the government set tougher requirements for IoT devices and applications in order to ensure security and privacy in the wider society are maintained. The council's report ‘Towards a securely connected digital society' was handed over to the government and business association VNO-NCW with a warning to take action or face considerable consequences. 

The report found that a huge number of devices are being connected to the internet, including devices that can't by definition be secured. A second major concern is the growing amount of diverse data that can be collected through the IoT. Furthermore, maintaining the proper liability and responsibility for the systems is extraordinarily complex. 

The report offers a number of strategic recommendations to try and meet the challenges. The government could set quality standards for equipment and enforce these through certification, kite marks and access privileges. It can also set up a register of unsafe equipment, which could be accessed by consumers. 

The council also recommends more be done to raise awareness among consumers and draw on legal liability when problems occur. Intermediaries in the market also need to take up their responsibilities, and enforcement needs to be strengthened. Many of these issues will have to be coordinated at the EU level, for example the use of the CE mark for devices. 

The council already issued a critical report last June on the conclusions of the cybersecurity outlook 2017, pointing out that many IoT devices have poor security and pose a threat to security and privacy of end-users. IoT application providers and producers need to implement better security protocols, but often fall short due to the complexity of the IoT, the drive to launch products quickly in response to competition and a lack of expertise, incentives and oversight. 

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