The global cyber risk management industry is growing up with many in their “teens” when it comes to cyber hygiene. Yep, it’s an unpopular but necessary subject. Anyone who has raised teenagers, especially boys who sweat a lot, knows what I’m talking about. Don’t let your cyber program smell like a locker! The industry is now embracing the necessity of “computer security” on the stakeholder/executive level but yet we still don’t even have a good legislative definition of exactly what that means. We can easily blame the rate of change in the industry, or worse the rate of adversary maturation, but in the end it’s up to us to adapt.
In raising my children I have core responsibilities that are required to be part of a community. Learn how to get yourself up, on time, in fact a few minutes ahead of time; work before play; be a giver and a contributor not a taker; brush and floss your teeth and yes your tongue too (oh how I dread having to be sooooo specific! ;)), regular showers, regularly change your bed sheets, etc. In short, these are core life skills to taking care of yourself and living within a community. Such skills help you when you have a room-mate later in college, a spouse, and at work. So then, ‘best practices’ and other efforts in the world of cyber security are essential or core to our ‘hygiene’.
When a network is constantly banging on your door trying to infect, and you can see it’s infected with a known bot or worm, that stinks. We are all connected, all on the great Internet of Things (IoT) these days, so get some hygiene, please! You have a responsibility that extends beyond that of yourself. Some companies require that you pass certain checks before allowing you to connect to their network; wouldn’t that be nice if we had that for the Internet? And what about that employee who fails the phishing test every-single-time?? We must motivate everyone within our sphere of influence with both positive and negative consequences to improve the quality of our IoT community. First and foremost, ensure your own hygiene is in check and then help others to do the same.