Obama computer hacks highlight urgent need for education
By Ian GRAYSON
Evidence that the computer systems of both US Presidential candidates were hacked during the recent race for the White House has highlighted a massive need for IT security education.
We already mount expensive public awareness campaigns on everything from road safety to smoking, but perhaps it’s about time we also ran one explaining the importance of computer security.
The US system breaches, in which sensitive information from both campaigns was extracted from computer systems by an unknown (and presumed foreign) group, proved an embarrassment on both sides of the political fence.
It’s unlikely that national security was close to being compromised, but the events serve to remind us of the inherent dangers of living and working in an increasingly digital world.
Now none of this is new news, but neither are the dangers of smoking, drinking or over eating and everyone benefits from being reminded of those once in a while.
Wander into virtually any business and you’ll find potential security problems. They range from unsecured wireless networks to networking gear that’s still using factory default passwords. There might also be sensitive customer details or confidential marketing plans sitting on unprotected CDs or flash drives.
These are basic things, but they’re sufficient to allow any motivated external party to wallow in your sensitive files, eavesdrop on important email conversations, or wreak havoc by putting important IT systems out of commission.
Alerting people to such potential dangers is not just a nice-to-do thing – it’s vital. Rather than spending millions of dollars telling us what a wonderful job the Federal Government is doing, let’s direct it to a national cyber security campaign.
If we can encourage just one extra small business owner to check the state of their IT security and take the basic steps needed to make it more secure, it’s got to be a worthwhile thing to do.
How about it Kevin Rudd?
|Subscribe to Hydrapinion|