The UK Government has launched the ‘Cyber Streetwise’ campaign in an aim to provide the public and businesses with the skills and knowledge they need to take control of their cyber security.
Described as an aim to “measurably and significantly improve the online safety behaviour and confidence of consumers and small businesses”, Cyber Streetwise is an interactive website explaining how businesses can enhance security. Included is guidance on securing websites, shopping safely online and keeping your computer healthy.
Part of the government’s National Cyber Security Programme, the campaign is funded by the National Cyber Security Programme, led by the Home Office and partnered by private sector companies including Sophos and Trend Micro, as well as the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office.
Security Minister, James Brokenshire said: “The internet has radically changed the way we work and socialise. It has created a wealth of opportunities, but with these opportunities there are also threats. As a government we are taking the fight to cyber criminals wherever they are in the world.
“However, by taking a few simple steps while online the public can keep cyber criminals out and their information safe. Cyber Streetwise is an innovative new campaign that will provide everyone with the knowledge and confidence to make simple and effective changes to stay safe online.”
Commenting, Simon Placks, head of Cybercrime Investigations at EY said that taking simple steps to protect your business is the very least companies need to do to be secure online, but when companies are not prepared, cyber criminals can trip you up.
“Many businesses’ first response is often to panic and lock-down systems which often leads to considerable disruption. It’s usually a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted but with these preventive measures and responding appropriately to a cyber attack, the chances of being attacked again in the future will decrease considerably,” he said.
Ron Gula, CEO of Tenable Network Security, said that it was great to see the Government take a more active role in the protection of consumers and SMEs from online threats. “This approach of bolstering the skills and knowledge of the public and businesses is a smart step,” he said.
“The right education and training can significantly reduce the frequency of security breaches. It can help staff to identify suspicious emails, know how some of the attacks work and teach staff what to do if they become compromised. While limiting and monitoring employee access to the internet can help reduce the risk of social engineering attacks, it is only by teaching people about the threats online, that they may be inclined to accept a more stringent internet usage policy.”
Likewise, Matt Palmer from the ISACA Security Advisory Group called this an “extremely useful resource for small business managers” who do not have access to internal expertise. “Implementing all the areas highlighted will provide some basic protection against low-level threats and significantly reduce risk. However, it should be clearer that the good practices listed are a starting point for effective small business security, not a complete solution,” he said.
CISO Amar Singh said that while the board will take notice of this move by the Government, he questioned if they would sit through the whole web journey. He said: “Overall this is a good move that demonstrates that the UK government is taking cyber security seriously an
d is recognising that, especially small business, need a guiding hand and good sound basic advice.”