Why European Cyber Security Month matters

20 October 2016

You might know that October is European Cyber Security Month - #CyberSecMonth for short - and that in the US it's also National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Both are designed to raise awareness of cyber security threats and to promote and encourage cyber security best-practice among citizens. But now that we've voted to leave the EU, do initiatives like this matter?

I believe they do. For some time, cyber security professionals like myself have been banging on about the need to raise awareness of cyber security among business and personal users alike. Users need all the help and encouragement they can get, while it's particularly important for businesses not to become complacent: they increasingly find themselves the target of ransomware and other attacks by organised criminal gangs.

Any campaign that helps people get the basics right is to be welcomed, then, but it's important too that we don't lose interest in the security initiatives and programmes of the EU. Directives like the General Data Protection Regulation will apply at least until Brexit, after which the Prime Minister has signalled that European law will - initially at least - be written in to British law: EU directives may thus be relevant for many years to come.

Whatever form the UK's trading relationships take post-Brexit, I hope we'll still have many European suppliers and partners. And even if the law no longer mandates it, they'll rightly expect their British trading partners to maintain similarly high standards when it comes to privacy and security.

As part of CyberSecMonth you can take a 10-minute Network and Information Security quiz here. If you want an expert view on security and cyber threats, and particularly the dangers posed by ransomware, why not come to Protect yourself from anti-virus, our security briefing in association with Palo Alto Networks.

Places are free but strictly limited, so reserve yours now.


European flag in flowers and EU flag images by Rock Cohen/Flickr, Creative Commons