ABS = Always be Secure
We all know how important it is to be secure. We are adding new devices and various digitial assets into our lives everyday. The million dollar question is, are we spending time and key resources in protecting ourselves and our data?
The term BYOD (bring your own device) has been debated heavily at OpenGov events. We have been talking about employees bringing their personal hardware and software into the work place.
Why is this happening? The answer is simple – employees are comfortable with their devices. They are familiar with the navigation and find themselves being more efficient. Most of these devices don’t have firewalls, hence viewing of attachments sent from a 3rd party is easier. They can take their work home. Their devices at times are more upto date that what's issued at work or in an agency. Efficiency – sure – but at what price?
What else is happeing with these devices?
These devices are also being used by the children of most employees. That's simple and fair enough. But, we have all heard of stories on how hackers have used children apps to break in and access information. “The cat on the other end was not mewing but talking to my child. There was a series of questions and answers,” said a very angry and scared parent -employee.
BYON is the policy of the Hong Kong government (bring your own nothing). Singaore government, gives an iPad as standard operating equipment. The rationality behind this is the device belongs to the government and if needed can be searched. The government is Melbourne is going down the pathway of BYOE (bring your own everything).
We all know that humans error is the primary reason hackers use to break in. Which means we need to get our employees suited up for defence. This was the point being made by Communication Minister Dr. Yaacob bin Ibrahim yesterday. Infact he went further in announcing the launch of a new “Employee CyberSecurity Kit”.
I love the words used by him – it is not enough to rely on hardware and software to counter cybersecurity but also need to build up “peopleware”. What does that really mean. Again, a very common used line in every business and government agencies. He further went to say, “A fortress may have think strong walls, but will still be vunrable to attack if the guards carelessly leave the gate open.”
This is where the “Employee CyberSecurity Kit” will be of great assistance. It’s free. It’s on the cloud. It’s targeted at SMEs to help implement a structured employee education programme on cybersecurity awareness.
A collaborated effort between Singapore Business Federation (SBF), the National Security Coordination Secretariat and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore took 3 months to roll it out. SBF chairman Teo Siong Seng stated, “If you have proper cyber security, it would make us more competitive, and people are also confident to do business with us.” The tooklit is available at SBF’s ePortal.
Another clear example of government taking steps in keeping businesses secure. It all leads towards sustainability.