New rules proposed to boost security of home routers – The Straits Times

Consumers here will get some help in picking secure Internet home routers, if new rules proposed yesterday are accepted.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is looking to introduce a series of requirements to "provide a safer and more secure Internet experience for users, and to strengthen the resilience of Singapore's telecommunications networks".

The surge in intelligent devices in homes, such as Web cameras and baby monitors, makes it important to secure home routers, the authority said.

Under the proposed rules, home routers that meet stringent requirements, including stronger password administration, will receive a compliance label.

"Residential gateways, commonly known as home routers, are often the first entry point as they form the key bridge between the Internet and residents' home networks," said an IMDA spokesman.

These routers are often used by hackers keen on spying or stealing information.

The proposed rules are such that new routers sold to consumers will not be allowed to have default passwords, which means no two routers will have the same access codes.

Consumers will instead have to set up their own passwords and there will be a minimum level of password strength required.

The default settings of these routers will have to be better managed and controlled as well. For instance, the firewall will have to be turned on by default.

Manufacturers will also have to make sure that their routers automatically update to the latest and most secure firmware.

The IMDA is now seeking views from the industry and the public on the requirements.

The authority said that together with the cyber security labelling scheme that will be rolled out by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), its effort to introduce more stringent rules for home routers will better protect Internet-of-Things devices here.

Residents will not be required to change their home routers. Instead, they can look out for the IMDA label when they get new routers.

If the proposed rules are accepted, all new routers sold here must comply with the IMDA's specifications by early next year... To give manufacturers time to adjust, the rules will kick in six months after the finalised standards come into effect.

If the proposed rules are accepted, all new routers sold here must comply with the IMDA's specifications by early next year.

The IMDA said that in order to give manufacturers time to adjust, the rules will kick in six months after the finalised standards come into effect. Previously approved home routers can continue to be sold until one year after the finalised standards come into effect.

The authority noted that some manufacturers have already incorporated the proposed requirements in newer models of their home routers. It expects that mainstream models will continue to remain affordable as new equipment complying with the IMDA's rules are launched.

Yesterday, the IMDA also announced a new IoT guide to help business users and vendors safely deploy IoT systems and devices.

The guide was developed by the IMDA and CSA after a public consultation in January last year and is available on the IMDA's website.

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New rules proposed to boost security of home routers - The Straits Times

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