The Government’s Cyber Streetwise campaign did show some increase in awareness amongst the public, but not among the small business sector.
Speaking at the Cyber Security Conference in London, Peter Wilson, director of awareness and behaviour change at the Home Office, said he was satisfied with the adoption of the campaign by social media, banks and adults in the UK, but small to medium enterprises (SMEs) did not a sufficient rise in awareness success.
He said that the campaign was tracked before, during and after its process, and results KPIs show that SMEs increased by two per cent on adopting six of the ten behaviours (HYPERLINK), especially “protecting against malware attacks”, and 343,000 SMEs downloaded security software, a rise by seven per cent. However there was a drop in the number of SMEs in the awareness of “losing money or financial details over the internet being avoidable”, with a reduction by six per cent.
Wilson said: “There were different executions on the various portals and ten steps gave people an easy health check to see if they were doing the basics. 500,000 now understand what to do with customer details and we get the measure on what has and has not been picked up.”
However, among the general public, there was a four per cent increase in awareness of the ten behaviours, with 2.5 million adult responses collected and small increases on checking if a website is secure (up three per cent), not sharing passwords (up two per cent) and feeling safe when they are online (up five per cent). However there was a decrease in the download and installation of anti-virus software.
Wilson admitted that the SME results were “flat” so the next campaign will focus more on the SME and on specific communication points to that sector. “It was not as good as we envisioned at the start, but it helped us get some success,” he said. “If we can get industry support and focus from industry, then there will be a more measurable benefit.”
Asked why he felt that there was not such a large pick-up among SMEs, Wilson told IT Security Guru that there was some pick up, but not on the full ten safer behaviours. “Ten per cent of SMEs are doing ten or more of behaviours and there is a baseline of 63 per cent of adults. The individual measures moved more with adults and they understood and worked, apart from anti-virus which I find amazing and this is a great opportunity to grow the market.”
He concluded by saying that there needs to be more work on relationships in business, and more engagement with banks to do awareness better, and said that the Cyber Essentials concept will give SMEs a kitemark. Further results showed that people found the campaign to be “clear and easy to understand” and over half of those surveyed said that they would be likely to talk or share information from the campaign.