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8 Dec 2017

NBlog December 8 - cybersecurity awareness story-telling

Conceptual diagrams ('mind maps') are extremely useful for awareness purposes.  This one, for instance, only has about 50 words but expresses a lot more than could be said with ~50 words of conventional prose:

Despite it being more than 7 years since I drew that diagram in Visio, it immediately makes sense. It tells a story. 

Working clockwise from 1 o'clock, it steps through the main wireless networking technologies that were common in 2010, picking out some of the key information security concerns for each of them.  It's not hard to guess what I was thinking about.

The arrows draw the reader's eye in the specified direction along each path linking together related items. Larger font, bold text and the red highlight the main elements, leading towards and emphasizing "New risks" especially. Sure enough today we have to contend with a raft of personal, local, mesh, community and wide area networks, in addition to the those shown. 

When the diagram was prepared, we didn't know exactly what was coming but predicted that new wireless networking technologies would present new risks. That's hardly ground-breaking insight, although pointing out that risks arise from the combination of threats, vulnerabilities and impacts hinted at the likelihood of changes in all three areas, a deliberate ploy to get the audience wondering about what might be coming, and hopefully thinking and planning ahead.

It's time, now, to update the diagram and adapt it to reflect the current situation for inclusion in January's awareness module. The process of updating the diagram is as valuable as the product - researching and thinking about what has changed, how things have changed, what's new in this space etc. qualifies as fun for this geek! Take yesterday's blog piece, for instance: back in 2010, I probably would not have believed it possible that today we'd be configuring our Christmas tree light shows from Web-based apps on our mobile phones ... and that's merely a trivial, seasonal example. The information risk and security angles to IoT and BYOD go on and on.

Technology is the gift that keeps on giving.

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