I welcome news that the Commons Science and Technology Committee has acknowledged the need to encourage people to protect themselves online, and that there is an equal – if not greater – need to encourage businesses to go down this route.
It is reassuring to hear that the MP’s group is aware that most of the steps to defend against cybercrime are routine in nature.
Most of us in the IT security world understand that a lot of the technology involved with securing Internet usage is both easy to source and easy to use, but there is still a distinct need to get this message across to an Internet-fatigued business audience – many of whom still view the Internet as `just another communications medium’ like the good old office telephone.
But just as we’ve all become aware of the need to treat a call on the phone with caution until the caller has positively identified themselves, so we must get the message across that business users of the Web need to employ all available layers of security to better defend themselves.
More needs to be done to educate business Internet users on the risks they run if they use the Internet without an awareness of the security issues involved. So does this mean that people should be turned off from using the Web?
Certainly not! Driving on the roads can be dangerous, but millions of us do it every single day – and quite safely too. It all comes down to good training and an understanding of the risks, so that you drive as safely as possible.
In fact, the Commons Science and Technology Committee’s comments that 80 per cent of the steps needed to counter malware is routine IT hygiene is definitely a step in the right direction, as this all helps to get the message across to all Internet users.
What business managers need to instil in their staff is an understanding of the risks involved – and how easy it is to use the technology to defend your online session – when conducting themselves on the Internet.
And as Andrew Miller, the Labour MP and chairman of the Committee says, knowledge is now the best defence against fear, so a business education scheme on the risks involved – and the solutions that are available – is the best way forward.
When I am called into companies to advise on the best privilege management approach needed to defend access to the firm’s digital assets, I tend to find that staff are concerned about the complexity of the security technology involved. They really should not be, as privilege management is one of the easiest technologies to deploy and use.
If the government were to start a simple campaign to educate business Internet users on the best way to surf the Web securely, and the transparency – and ease of use – of the technology involved, the end result would far less cybercrime and money lost to Great Britain PLCs.
For this reason I welcome news that the government is pushing to educate Internet users on good online IT practices. I also recommend that this education programme be extended to businesses, and so allow us all to benefit on multiple levels.