It has been suggested by UK ministers recently that there should be better awareness of theimportance of cyber security.
Although conventionally, it is the more traditional generations that are wary of sharing their details in the new digital world, it is perhaps not such a bad thing to be more cautious.
Jim Murphy, the Shadow Secretary of state for Defence recently said that cyber security could be the “arms race of the 21st century” – and he isn’t wrong.
In fact, he went on to say that the UK is particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks, ranking sixth in the world as a cyber crime hotspot, suffering losses of £27 billion a year.
Taking this startling statistic on board, action is clearly needed. Without getting too political, the government are currently making a number of cuts across the country in order to save money and reduce national debt. Imagine if this loss could be prevented, what a difference it could make.
The government has been urged to start a campaign on the same lines of the drink-driving campaigns that were launched in the past few years, with the aim of raising awareness of the devastating implications to drinking and driving.
Those promotions were created with the intention of shocking the audience into taking notice and that’s what is needed here.
It is not something that a government can do alone after all. It is important that the defence systems in the UK – or any country hoping to protect themselves – aren’t vulnerable to others. But this also goes for business and personal users of the internet.
Information security, as well as how to main safer online, is easily accessible but many don’t know what to look for, where to find it, and why they should. And for many, the only warning is Terms & conditions, for which very few people actually pay attention to.
For the everyday user, losing a few pounds from a hacker may not be the end of the world, no matter how frustrating. It of course means having to change your details, but in most cases, banks will reimburse this amount. Thinking of this large scale however, the amounts build up, and if a bank is hacked into, this affects everyone.
Mr Murphy recommended that for businesses, there is a ‘kitemarking’ system in place to offer an incentive to take more action.
He said: “Kitemarks for those with high standards of cyber security must become a reality across the private sector. The defence industry is one of the most at risk sectors and so the Ministry of Defence could work with business to set a series of benchmarks for firms’ cyber security performance which would be taken into account when making procurement decisions.”
For the largest organisations with backing, essential information will find its way into their laps, but for the general public, they need awareness and they need guidance.
As previously mentioned it is usually the older generations who are wary of the online world but perhaps the rest of us are too keen to disclose all of our personal details: particularly when you consider than by simply answering a few basic questions could give someone access to your online banking password.
Whether this campaign will happen or not, there is certainly a service of this nature if we are to continue to become more digital in the upcoming years. Looking back only a few short years, it would have appeared very odd to do all your banking or shopping on the web – a concept that is now normal. Times are changing, and training in some sense may be required for everyone to be kept up to speed.
Either way, at least the government is acknowledging this and are trying to think of ways that improvements could be made.
In fact, Mr Murphy spoke just one day after the Ministry of Defence budget was announced for next year, with a focus on cyber security and listening to younger generations to know what is “really happening out there.”More on CyberInsecure: