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

Feb 9, 2018

NBlog February 9 - mapping awareness memes

Yesterday I came up with the suggestion of using memes to spread security awareness messages from person to person, in a similar fashion to the way that computer viruses and worms spread from IT system to IT system. 

Today I'm trying to come up with something that people will spread among each other by word of mouth, through email and TXT etc., something funny, shocking or useful - such as tips to avoid falling prey to malware maybe, or rumors about a serious malware infection within or close to the organization.

'Too close for comfort' has potential, perhaps a malware incident and business crisis narrowly averted by sheer good fortune. Or maybe we could fool workers into believing that the auditors will soon be coming to check up on the antivirus controls?

Such an approach could be unethical, risky even (e.g. if it prompted workers to meddle inappropriately with antivirus configurations or audit trails, rather than ensuring that the antivirus controls were operating correctly). It would need to be carefully considered and planned, which itself constitutes an awareness activity even if, in the end, the decision is taken not to go ahead.

The 'meme map' (derived from "Meme Maps: A Tool for Configuring Memes in Time and Space" by John Paull) represents the lifecycle and spatial or geographical spread of the meme. Reading from the bottom up, both the yellow area prior to the meme's release, and then the green area, are awareness opportunities.  

Mapping and demonstrating the gradual spread of a security awareness meme within the organization (e.g. mapping the source of clicks on a link to a fake internal memo about the fictitious antivirus audit, or tracking calls about the audit to the Help Desk) is yet another possible awareness activity, with similarities to the spread of malware ... at which point I recurse up my own backside, so that's enough idle musing for today's blog.

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