Network security specialist helps empower Brits with cyber security skills


by Duncan MacRae| 15 January 2014

The Cyber Streetwise campaign gives consumers and small businesses the skills and knowledge they need to stay safe.

Sophos, a network security specialist, has partnered with the Government in a new campaign aimed at changing attitudes to online security among consumers and small businesses.

The National Cyber Security initiative, 'Cyber Streetwise', is also hoped to give them the skills and knowledge they need to take control of their cyber security.

James Lyne, global head of security research, Sophos, said: "We believe it's imperative for both consumers and small businesses to take action to protect themselves online.

"Consumers and SMEs alike are finding new ways to interact online, including via a greater range of devices, but with this enhanced technology comes risk. SophosLabs finds over 30,000 new infected websites distributing malware every day and, contrary to popular belief, the majority - around 80% - are legitimate small business websites that have been hacked. It's therefore vital that small businesses in particular get the basics of security right - from installing antivirus to regularly updating and patching software, using complex passwords and protecting data."

The Cyber Streetwise website offers a range of interactive resources for SMEs and consumers to gain impartial advice on how to protect themselves online.

Lyne continued: "Those who don't put basic security measures in place are leaving themselves exposed to attackers capable of silently installing malicious code on their systems without permission. We are proud to have been asked to support and to provide content for Cyber Streetwise, which will play a vital role in encouraging businesses and consumers to adopt safer behaviours online and to take the fight to cyber criminals by improving their online security."

Cyber Streetwise is urging people to take five actions in order to protect themselves and others from cyber crime:

1. Use strong, memorable passwords
2. Install anti-virus software on new devices
3. Check privacy settings on social media
4. Shop safely online - always ensuring to check online retail sites are secure
5. Download software and application patches when prompted

Cyber Streetwise is a cross-Government awareness and behaviour change campaign delivered by the Home Office in conjunction with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and supported by the National Cyber Security Programme.
The campaign has wide support across industry with over 20 organisations providing access to communications channels or monetary support. Organisations involved include: Sophos, Facebook, Financial Fraud Action UK and RBS.

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