The Week In Review : 28th July

Sometimes the most unexpected unions come together.

A few years ago, the UK chocolate company Cadbury, was taken over by Kraft the US food giant. Within not very long this new company had blended two of their most famous products, Diary Milk chocolate and Philadelphia soft cheese. Sounded strange but from memory was surprisingly palatable.

Hearing that Facebook was entering an agreement with Harvard University to fight election hacking, gave me a similar feeling. Odd at first, but once that initial confusion had passed, it sounded like a good idea. According to the news story, posted by Reuters, Facebook will be providing funding to a non-profit organisation, based at Harvard, that aims to help protect political parties, voting systems and information providers from hackers and propaganda attacks

With election hacking such a hot topic right now, this couldn’t have come at a better time. However, as a colleague who is far more cynical than I, stated, that this maybe just a long-term plan for the so far muffled political ambitions of Facebook CEO Mark Zukerberg, or at the very least to one day have us all casting our votes through the social network.

Another interesting union arrived on webpages of the Independent, as they reported that US Girl Scouts organisation, those stalwarts of door to door cookie selling, have introduced a range of new badges that includes cybersecurity. The succinct but highly apt commentary on this new initiative was “to prepare them for the world they will soon lead”.

The Girl Scouts organisation had surveyed their members on what new badges and that that girls voted “loud and clear, to learn about computer science, and, specifically, cybersecurity.” At least 18 new cyber security badges will be offered beginning in the fall of 2018 in partnership with Silicon Valley-based Palo Alto Networks.

“The cyber security industry is facing a talent deficit…and women comprise only 11 per cent of today’s cyber security workforce,” Rinki Sethi, Senior Director of Information Security at the company, told The Independent. The industry has had a dearth of talent for the past decade, but Ms Sethi hopes that catching the interest of girls in Kindergarten and up will ensure a better future for the industry as a whole.

Personally, I think this is a great idea and hope that similar organisations on this side of the Atlantic are inspired to undertake something similar.

The website Dark Reading, is one of my personal favourites for cybersecurity discussions, and their story “10 Critical Steps to Create a Culture of Cybersecurity”, continued another union of usually disconnected entities. Their simple, but powerful statement was “Bring everyone to the table.”

They explained that senior executive engagement is essential but to also include your information technology, information security, legal, knowledge management, compliance, privacy, finance, communications, and human resources teams.

This fight against cybercrime is bigger than all of us and these new and unexpected unions may be one of the best ways to beat it. I sincerely hope so.

The Week In Review is taking a summer break. Stay safe and we will be back with you in early September for more Cybersecurity News and Comment.

For links to all these stories and more, or to contribute with some comments join us by searching for the National Cyber Skills Centre on our social channels of FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter, or just click the relevant links from our website.

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