How security awareness messaging changes during a crisis

“We have tried to  encourage people to develop their own safe cyber havens in the home ”

Michael Jenkins MBE, CISO of Brunel University talks to Sooraj Shah about how the University’s security has changed as a result of the coronavirus and the increase in home working

Michael Jenkins will be speaking at the teissR3 | Resilience, Response and Recovery summit taking place online, 15 – 24 September.

This year, the very popular teissR3 event focuses on how to improve your organisation’s cyber resiliency and adopt best-practice in incident response and crisis management in a post-COVID-19 world. Space is limited. Register your free place by clicking here.

Video transcript

And so has your security awareness messaging changed at all?

Yes, I think very much so. It’s been a bit more regular since we’re working at home. And we’ve created a lot of guidance. And we’ve tried to keep that guidance short and punchy, because of course, staff and students are using different tools nowadays in the home.

And what we’ve tried to encourage through some of the guidance notes and some of the messaging on common platforms and through cascade mechanisms and through different forums, committees, and meetings, we’ve tried to encourage people to develop their own safe havens or safe cyber havens in their home. And we’ve given them the advice that you’ve got other people working in the home. That creates potential risk in itself with the sharing of all sorts of information across media platforms, for example.

And actually, once you’ve got that data, we want to make sure that it’s in universally-managed devices rather than on personal computers. So we’ve continually messaged about actually we need you to make sure you connect to the VPN so that we update software, for example, and it’s all patched.

And actually one of the best things you can do is create your own cybersecure home. Make sure your routers have got the correct passwords, and at the same time, keep messaging to them that what we’ve been seeing is COVID related or COVID themed attacks. And we’ve seen an increase in ransomware, of course. So I think it’s important to just show them that the landscape is continually changing and they are targeting businesses and universities like ourselves.

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