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Education, education, education


Is cyber security education worth it?

Anybody who knows me, will know I am an enthusiastic supporter of education in cyber security – not only within a business, but at home and school as well. Cyber security education shouldn’t be thought of as a one-off, answer to everything solution, but an on-going, continuous process.

At Ocean Lighthouse, we are not attempting or expecting to turn everybody in a cyber security expert. In a nutshell, our goal is to give everyone the tools and skills they need to enjoy a safer online experience in cyberspace.

Cyber security education is fundamentally quite simple, but much more difficult to to teach in the long term at least. Generally, education based around warnings or notifications about particular threats. And this can prove very useful in mitigating the effects of that particular threat. 

But there is always another ‘big’ threat around the corner, waiting to wreak its destructive powers over the next victims. You will no doubt have heard of Ransomware – a threat that has appeared in many forms over the years.

1989 - The first known computer rasnomware distributed on a floppy disk

What is believed to be the first ever ransomware appeared almost 30 years ago in the form of a quiz on health and the likelihood of contracting the AIDS virus. A few days afterwards, the computer would lock, then demand a payment and print an invoice for $189 or some similar figure. Today, the same principles apply to modern ransomware, but the methods used are much more sophisticated.

Many cyber criminal organisations involve teams of developing ever more sophisticated technical and social engineering techniques designed to catch out their victims.

So while technical solutions to identifying threats is very important, education is just as important. Modern security relies on multiple layers of protection. Technical solutions often (and should) include multiple layers to intercept threats using different types of attack methods. 

Cyber security education adds another layer of security in addition to the technical solutions. And while education can’t and shouldn’t replace technical solutions, it adds to a wider defence strategy that can significantly help – making the bad guys’ job considerably more difficult and so going a long way to achieving our goal of making the internet a safer place for everyone.

Alex Bryson