Cybersecurity initiative sets out to democratise access to digital safety skills

An initiative has been launched with the goal of educating the public about the myriad threats lurking online.

Launched by Sarb Sembhi, CTO & CISO of Virtually Informed, Security2Live will help members of the general public protect themselves and their families from 80% of the most common cyber-attacks.

Sembhi acknowledges that the corporate world has boosted investment in cybersecurity in response to multiplying digital threats. However, the ‘attack surface’ beyond the corporate environment – the non-expert internet users whose digital naivety leaves the door ajar to cybercriminals – has only grown.

“Most events during Cyber Security Awareness Month only attract cybersecurity professionals. We want to change that.” Sarb Sembhi, founder, Security2Live

“For several years in the UK, most events during Cyber Security Awareness Month, only attract cybersecurity professionals,” said Sembhi, whose company, Virtually Informed, provides online security information and courses.

“We want to change that. Ordinary people should be the attendees at such events – not security professionals! We will work with other partners to organise events for people who don’t have a clue about digital safety skills. We want to make this year the start of raising digital safety skills and to end security talks where people are discussed as the problem not the solution.”

Eight principles

Founded on eight principles, Security2Live will equip people with skills that either directly reduce the likelihood of a compromise or reduce the overall attack points for an individual.

The initiative’s founding partners – Layer8, OutThink and Urban IQ – “want to democratise digital safety skills away from a few organisations to communities and individuals who really want to make a difference but don’t know where to start.”

Not only will participants be equipped with the necessary skills to protect themselves, but will be encouraged to “share them with people they know before attempting to share with people they don’t know.”

The need for such schemes has been underlined by recent reports that cybercrime is underreported and that progress in tackling the problem has stalled.

Sarah Janes, Director at Layer8, an ‘enterprise user awareness’ company, said: “I feel truly privileged to play a part in this initiative. Our success at enterprise level developing security champions and creating change programmes will be shared with people who engage with Security2Live.

“I have great faith in this initiative because it’s not about training people, it’s about creating a new ‘normal’ in the way we all interact with technology every day of our lives. Cybercrime continues to affect people but only a privileged few receive basic education. Basic skills should be accessible to all and, in the future, businesses should expect people to come equipped with these skills.”

Flavius Plesu, co-founder and CEO at OutThink, a provider of the human risk protection platform, said: “When we talk about security, it is clear that people play a critical role. Over the past decade we have seen that attempts to raise awareness have simply not been effective or driven a sustainable change in security behaviours.

“To cope with the threat of cybercrime security leaders need to guide and motivate people to build personal digital safety skills. To effectively manage the risk, they must also support people with the appropriate technology, tools and processes – we call this human risk protection. We are excited to bring this concept to the world with Security2Live,which takes a fundamentally different approach to any previous industry initiative.”

The Security2Live initiative’s founding principles:

  1. Everyone has the right to basic digital safety skills, resources and support
  2. Raising digital safety skills is a collective responsibility
  3. Digital Safety Skills should impact cyber crime across the world
  4. People’s non-work life should be the focus of their digital safety skills
  5. The skills taught should enable learners to share their learning with others
  6. Resources should be inclusive to meet the needs of all levels of skills
  7. Product and service vendors must play their role in reducing cyber crime
  8. Lead research into digital safety skills and human risk protection.

Security2Live is inviting enterprises that want to boost their employee’s digital safety skills to help host face-2-face Digital Safety Skills sessions during for Cyber Security Awareness Month in October.

Terry Cutler, who topped our cybersecurity influencers for 2018, discussed this subject in a wide ranging interview last year. “Everyone on the planet right now is a target – whether you’re the IT guy or a grandmother who turns on her computer once a month to check her email,” said the founder and CEO of Cyology Labs, vice-president of cybersecurity at SIRCO Investigation and Protection and the brains behind courses designed to help the general public protect themselves against the fast-evolving threats posed by cybercriminals.

Find out more about Security2Live. 



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