Interland – Why security is everyone’s business
There is a very inconvenient truth that antivirus or endpoint security solutions offer businesses limited protection from increasingly sophisticated attacks. Most threats now target unsuspecting users by using every trick in the book to convince them to click on a URL that will infect their corporate machine.
Realistically, the best protection for any organization is educating their staff. It is now imperative that businesses educate their employees around their digital responsibilities. Whether it be why they should think twice before picking up a USB flash drive that they find in the staff carpark or questioning where they save sensitive company data, education is the greatest defense against cyber criminals.
Equally, at home, it has become almost impossible to track everything that children view online across a plethora of devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. There is also a realization that lecturing kids about internet safety seldom works.
The road to becoming a good digital citizen involves developing an instinct against hackers, phishers, bullies and understanding the dangers of oversharing. Google decided to tackle the problem head on by teaming up with ConnectSafely to create the Be Internet Awesome program to prepare kids for a safe digital life.
A team of online safety experts and YouTube creators have created four distinct worlds for the next generation of digital citizens to battle through. The aim of the game is to enable kids to make smarter decisions online.
Technology and fun are the perfect combinations to teach children how to deal with real world scenarios when online. By pitting kids against the internet bad guys, the platform is teaching them essential life skills for a digital age.
The online course focusses on being smart, alert, strong, kind, and brave online. To be fully certified as Internet Awesome, students must promise to abide by a strict set of guidelines to ensure their online safety.
SHARE WITH CARE
I will thoughtfully consider what I share and with whom and keep extra sensitive information to myself (i.e., home address, current location, other people’s business).
DON’T FALL FOR FAKE
I will watch out for phishing and scams and report questionable activity every time.
SECURE YOUR SECRETS
I will take responsibility for protecting important information by crafting strong and unique passwords with characters, numbers, and symbols.
IT’S COOL TO BE KIND
I will spread positivity and use the skills I have learned to block and report negative behaviors.
WHEN IN DOUBT, TALK IT OUT
I will use my voice when I notice inappropriate behavior and seek out a trusted adult to discuss situations that make me uncomfortable.
ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE AND FIREWALLS HAVE AN ACHILLES HEEL AND OFTEN STRUGGLE TO GIVE PROTECTION AGAINST SOPHISTICATED ATTACKS THAT RELY ON HUMAN VULNERABILITIES.
The classroom curriculum brings these five principles of being Internet Awesome to life, at school. But, they can also be used as essential tools to bring educators and parents up to be the speed with their online responsibilities.
There is also a “Digital Citizenship and Safety Curriculum” downloadable guidebook available to teach users the dangers of those bad digital habits. Sure, there is an emphasis on fun with a healthy dose of shiny graphics and an engaging musical score, but we all know a few adults that could benefit from a course like this too.
Understanding the dangers that cyber threats and online fraud can bring to every business across multiple industries should be a priority for employers. The education of all staff to highlight the importance of protecting business data, money and reputation by properly managing their digital footprint should not be just a nice to have.
Ensuring staff are acutely aware around topics such as password security, phishing, malware, Trojans, social engineering and even copyright issues should be a necessity for any organisation. An educated workforce that promotes a proactive rather than reactive mindset can provide much-needed protection to the entire infrastructure of a company.
Anti-virus software and firewalls have an Achilles heel and often struggle to give protection against sophisticated attacks that rely on human vulnerabilities. The time for all employees understand their digital responsibilities to safeguard company resources has arrived, but many still ignore this inconvenient truth.
On the flipside of this argument, hard drive manufacturer Seagate was famously sued by its own employees after a phishing scam leaked 10,000 existing and former employees’ details. As our homes begin to fill with always connected IoT devices, it seems that IT security has now become everyone’s business.
Our virtual playground is littered with hidden dangers and Google must be commended for arming the next generation of users with the digital skills required to remain safe online. However, we cannot help but think that there is an even greater need to educate the global workforce too.
Please share how you train your staff around digital awareness and their responsibilities by commenting below.