February was Cyber Security Month in Parliament. We held 11 talks from industry experts, three workshops and 11 drop-in sessions where we talked about what cyber security really is. We didn't just cover the technical aspects, but discussed people and the way they behave.
Tools and knowledge
It's our job to protect people using digital technologies in Parliament. Although we knew there was already a high level of interest in cyber security in Parliament, we wanted to further raise awareness and give people practical information to help them improve their ways of working. Over the course of the month we gave staff the tools and knowledge to identify threats to their own cyber security, and advised them on the correct way to react.
We got some feedback:
I thought the talks/posters etc were excellent and it would be worthwhile having larger cyber security events like this on a more regular basis (maybe annually?).
The variety of subjects and speakers was very good.
[I'd like to see more] refresher/update sessions on social media use for non-techies.
One of the main things we looked at was social media. It forms a part of our daily lives, and people need to be aware of their digital footprint. We had expert advice from Twitter, Facebook and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI).
Digital Awareness UK showed us that the digital aspect in our lives is larger than we may think. It starts developing at primary school and continues throughout our lives. Following us everywhere, both personally and professionally.
It’s not just about phishing e-mails and malicious software either. The range of cyber threats is increasing as attackers adopt more sophisticated methods. Smart products, like microwaves and fridges can become a threat if we're not careful enough. That's why education and user engagement are the main aspects of the Cyber Security Programme in Parliament.
This was the first event of its kind in Parliament and it won't be the last. We're going to host more sessions to suit everyone's needs, including a summer event that will focus on social engineering and explore the concept of digital footprints in more detail.
Our online security can be easily compromised and people can become complacent, which presents a new set of threats. Remember, cyber security is everyone’s responsibility.
If you have any questions about the Cyber Security Programme in Parliament, contact our team of experts.