As business leader--whether with an international non-profit organization like ISACA or a corporation, like my employer, Intralot--your perspective must always be global. That very perspective infused my thinking as I went to compose this ISACA point of view on National Cyber Security Month, which begins tomorrow.
While events such as “National Cyber Security Month” have taken shape, grown and serve a purpose, their positive impact may fall short and be somewhat artificial because of the limited number of nations that annually mark the progress and challenge of cyber security in October’s month-long observances.
Cyber Security a Borderless Pursuit
First and foremost, it seems odd that we—as professionals—would be content to limit a month’s focus on cyber security to the level of nations. Cyber security is, by its very nature, a borderless pursuit. Should not events focusing on the importance of cyber security be equally borderless in scope? This is not a condemnation of ongoing national-level efforts; it is merely an acknowledgment that we can, and perhaps should, be more international in our thinking.
We have seen the technology industry do this before. The 2015 efforts of industry, when it partnered with UNICEF to address the protection of children in both the physical and cyber realms, are an excellent example of this. There have been other similar efforts, also international in scope, aimed at combatting such heinous activities as child exploitation and human trafficking in cyberspace. All of these are commendable and, quite frankly, our world is in need of more such actions.
Cyber security is an issue that affects everyone. From professionals working to secure the various facets of an increasingly digital economy and society, to those accessing email for the first time, or making their first purchases online, cyber security has become woven into the fabric of our digital world.
A Shared Responsibility
Reliable cyber security is the bedrock of our digital lives. It makes possible the free-flowing content we all make use of; provides us with a diverse spectrum of communication tools, platforms, and media; and ensures a trust-based environment within which commerce can be conducted. However, it remains up to us, as individuals, to cultivate cyber security as a shared responsibility, and up to national leaders throughout the world to support those efforts.
Over the past few years, international gatherings of leaders have resulted in tremendous strides in global cyber security, as norms have been agreed upon, and collaborative efforts created and implemented. Going forward, perhaps it would be of value to bring that progress even more intimately into the lives of the citizenry of our world.
Global Awareness, Education Critical
It would be a simple matter, as part of the work on this international norms and accords, to incorporate a commitment into the work: as each nation joins in a transnational cyber security agreement, part of that agreement contains a provision that the nations, governments, institutions… involved will either implement a Global Cyber Security Month or, if they are already marking this milestone month, to expand their efforts to bring attention to the need for educating, empowering and increasing the safety and security of our global digital society.
We all share in the responsibility to provide cyber security. Professionals do it through their work; ordinary citizens do it through right action, and making good choices when moving through our digital world and its economy. International leaders can support those efforts, and increase global knowledge about cyber security and its importance in our daily lives.
Today, we celebrate “National Cyber Security Month” in several nations around the globe. Within the very near future, it is my sincere hope that all of us, in each of our respective nations, can join as one and mark the inaugural Global Cyber Security Month. Perhaps event in October 2017.
(About the author: Christos K. Dimitriadis is group director of information security at Intralot, and chairman of the ISACA Board of Directors. This post originally appeared on his ISACA blog, which can be viewed here)
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