Welcome to the May 2016 issue of the Computing Security Newsletter
Recently, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said victims of online fraud were “being rewarded for bad behaviour” by not updating their anti-virus software or improving passwords. He told The Times that there wasn’t enough incentive for consumers to protect themselves online and suggested that banks should refuse or reduce refunds to customers, if their security was lax.
However, these comments show a fundamental lack of understanding of how technology works. Indeed, they have caused some consternation amongst industry observers. Thomas Fischer, principal threat researcher at Digital Guardian, has expressed his surprise “that the commissioner has continued to fuel the attitude of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) – it’s almost equivalent to scaremongering”, he commented.
"Yes, it’s true that regularly updating passwords provides a user with a better position against cyber criminals, but let’s not forgot all those sites that don’t implement good password policies. Users can't protect themselves when the online services are not providing adequate levels of security themselves. I wonder how many of the government’s public sites practice good password security?”
Meanwhile, Richard Beck, head of cyber security at QA, has pointed out that “as we are increasingly encouraged to conduct all aspects of our lives online – be that buying our car tax, ordering our groceries or booking a holiday – we all need to take responsibility for ensuring we don’t put our digital selves at risk.
“But,” he adds, “to quote Donald Rumsfeld, there will always be ‘known unknowns’. In other words, we can’t assume that everyone using the Internet knows how to keep themselves safe. But ultimately the responsibility for minimising exposure to cyber criminals – either as an individual or a business – is something that should be shared equally among consumers and organisations alike.”
How soon biometrics might become mainstream across all business sectors is now the big question, especially as cyber attacks continue to hit unprecedented levels.
To make sure you get your copy of the Newsletter emailed to you personally, every time, click here to register.
Brian Wall, Editor
Follow us :