You might think of cybersecurity as a specialized, niche career not a skill that the average person should learn about.But that's not the case. In an age where we manage more and more of our lives digitally, it means that anyone in any career should know simple things about keeping security up to par. At work, this will help companies maintain robust protocols. At home, it will help you protect your own information.
To help explain why security knowledge is so important, let's first establish the baseline of how daily life operates for most of us. "There aren’t many careers left that aren’t based on technology," says Matt McCormack, Chief Security Officer at Virtustream.
Teachers in classrooms are using SMART boards. Someone who comes to your home to do contract work will whip out a smartphone or tablet and add information to an app on the spot. The mistakes that cause the most damage at companies are security-related-- something as small as clicking attachments in emails without knowing if they are safe."Of course, security concerns don't stay at work. "Nowadays, you’re not just worried about the security of your company, but also your own security and what you put out on your social networks," McCormack continues. "When I worked for the government, we constantly advised people on what they could and couldn’t do--even outside of work--when it came to social media.
Aside from simply not clicking suspicious email attachments, there are things nearly all employees can do to enhance company security and make themselves more valuable workers."Within any role in the organization, learning about security can help an individual understand the risks and make informed decisions for their key stakeholders," says Pavi Ramamurthy, Senior Manager of Information Security at LinkedIn.
- "In sales, reassuring customers of an organization’s security posture.
- In corporate communications, assessing in the context of business reputation and brand trust.
- The legal team ensuring that the right security clauses are built into supplier and customer contracts.
- In HR and/or security, knowing what’s needed for better security awareness and training.
- Product management advising good security features.
- In engineering development, making sure you develop secure code..
- Security professionals performing reviews and quality assurance tests for functional and security verification.
- Corporate management ensuring that a good security incident response plan is in place to address any vulnerabilities."
Hackers rely only partly on their security-penetration skills. The other thing they need? Regular people making mistakes. "An analysis of threats faced by organizations in the first quarter of 2017 reveals that cyber attackers still rely heavily on user interaction," says Bo Yuan, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Computing Security at Rochester Institute of Technology.One high-profile example: the CEO of Equifax attributed their 2017 breach--which comprised the data of over 147 million consumers and could cost over $600 million--to, you guessed it, human error.
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