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I may meander but I'm 'exploring', not lost

Aug 17, 2017

NBlog August 17 - InfoSec 101 for management

Today I've revised the management seminar for Information Security 101. Given our deliberately wide brief, there's quite a lot to say even at the relatively superficial 101/introductory level, so we're using thought-provoking pictures (mind maps, process diagrams and conceptual imagery) in place of reams of text and tedious bullet points. The whole seminar works out at just 12 slides ... at least that's the management seminar slide deck we'll be providing to subscribers. They can adapt the content, perhaps incorporating extras or indeed cutting back on the supplied content - and that's fine by us.

In fact, more than that, we actively recommend it! 

Much as we would like to offer awareness materials tailored for each customer, we simply don't have the resources. For starters, we would need to spend time getting to know and then keeping abreast of each customer's specific circumstances and needs ... and being information security related, there are confidentiality implications in that. Instead, we prefer to invest in research and development of high-quality cutting-edge awareness content, delivering editable materials that our valued customers can customize as they wish.

Keeping up with the field is quite a challenge, a fun one for us. In the 3 years or so since the InfoSec 101 module was last revised, we've witnessed the rise of BYOD, ransomware and cybersecurity. Current issues include IoT security and, looking forward, GDPR is set to make big waves in privacy in less than a year's time.

Most months we encourage customers to check and update their induction and other training course materials, picking and choosing from each new batch of NB content as appropriate. On a more subtle level, we're gently hinting that they should be proactively maintaining and refreshing their awareness and training content as a whole because outdated material can literally be worse than useless. 

If you work for a mid- to large-sized fairly mature organization, chances are your security awareness content includes stuff that is no longer relevant and misses out on emerging issues, even if you have someone dedicated to running the awareness and training program. If you are in a small organization with very limited resources, or one that depends on course materials updated 'whenever, if-ever', is it any surprise if newcomers get the impression that information security is unimportant, not a priority?

By the way, "NoticeBored" sprang from the realisation that people are bored stiff of the same-old-same-old - those tired and dog-eared awareness posters that have been up for years, the briefings and policies water-damaged from their time on the Ark. Old news is not news. Last year's battles are over. Wake up and smell the coffee!  Get with the beat!