UK consumers 'concerned about IoT device security'

New research reveals that consumers in the UK value cybersecurity and privacy guarantees when shopping for smart home, fitness or medical devices.

The study commissioned by UL Solutions found that 81 percent of people said that how a manufacturer protects against cyber-attacks and privacy invasions is important when purchasing these electronics.

Of those surveyed 58 percent said they intended to buy a smart home device like a connected light bulb or camera, with 45 percent saying they would buy a personal smart device like a fitness or medical wearable. About one in ten said they intended to buy large, connected appliances in the next two years.

The key UK consumer concerns regarding IoT device security were:

  • a cyber-attack to steal and sell personal data on the dark web (55 percent);

  • damage to the equipment and injury to a person and extorting money (51 percent);

  • government bodies stealing sensitive data (47 percent).

According to the study, consumers ranked these security concerns ahead of health fears from electromagnetic waves emitted by devices, which 36 percent of people said they were worried about.

“While the UK is a mature market for smart home and personal devices, consumers are looking for greater clarity and reassurance on product safety, cybersecurity and data privacy management,” said Maan Ghanma, director of Smart Solutions at UL Solutions. “This will likely increase as the UK government educates citizens about raising minimum device cybersecurity standards.”