Security2Live digital safety skills initiative launched in bid to impact cyber crime

An international initiative orchestrated to provide digital safety skills has been launched by founder Sarb Sembhi CISM (CTO and CISO at Virtually Informed, the provider of online security information and courses) with the backing of founding partners Layer8, OutThink and Urban IQ. The origin of Security2Live is the desire to reduce basic cyber attacks by criminals year-on-year by dint of providing everyone with access to digital safety skills.

Over the last 20 years the rate of growth in terms of the many ways in which people, their data, digital assets and physical assets can be compromised has increased. Over the same period, increases in corporate budgets, teams, technology and user awareness programmes have done very little to reduce the attack points (sometimes called the ‘attack surface’) of individuals outside of the corporate work environment.

Indeed, individuals are now more vulnerable than ever before to their data being hacked, their money being stolen and their children being approached by people who mean to do them harm.

Set against this backdrop, Security2Live provides key digital safety skills for a digital life with a focus on skills which may either directly reduce the likelihood of a compromise or lessen the overall attack points for an individual.

In essence, Security2Live’s founding partners want to democratise digital safety skills away from a few organisations to communities and individuals who really want to make a difference, but don’t know where to start. The initiative encourages everyone who wants to be involved to learn digital safety skills first and then share them with people they know before attempting to share with people they don’t know.

Sarb Sembhi CISM: CISO at Virtually Informed

Sarb Sembhi CISM: CISO at Virtually Informed

Sarb Sembhi explained to Risk Xtra: “For several years in the UK, most of the events that have run during Cyber Security Awareness Month only attract cyber security professionals. We want to change that. Ordinary people should be the attendees at such events, not security professionals. We will work with other partners to organise events for people who don’t have a clue about digital safety skills. We want to make this year the start of raising digital safety skills and to end security talks where people are discussed as being the problem, not the solution.”

Security2Live is being launched at a time when some recent studies have found that cyber crime is under-reported, while others highlight that cyber security progress has stalled.

Sarah Janes, director at Layer8 (an enterprise User Awareness company) commented: “I feel truly privileged to play a part in this initiative. Our success at enterprise level developing ‘Security Champions’ and creating change programmes will be shared with people who engage with Security2Live. I have great faith in this initiative because it’s not about training people. Rather, it’s about creating a ‘new normal’ in the way that we all interact with technology every day of our lives. Cyber crime continues to affect people, but only a privileged few receive basic education on the matter. Basic skills should be accessible to all and, in the future, businesses should expect people to come equipped with these skills to underpin their roles.”

Eight Founding Principles

The Security2Live initiative is based on eight Founding Principles agreed upon by the founding partners. These are as follows:

(1) Everyone has the right to basic digital safety skills, resources and support

(2) Raising digital safety skills is a collective responsibility

(3) Digital safety skills should impact cyber crime across the world

(4) People’s non-work life should be the focus of their digital safety skills

(5) The skills taught should enable learners to share their learning with others

(6) Resources should be inclusive to meet the needs of all levels of skills

(7) Product and service vendors must play their role in reducing cyber crime

(8) Lead research into digital safety skills and human risk protection

The founding partners of Security2Live have decades of experience in understanding what’s required to raise the bar of digital safety skills of non-technical people. Further details about the Founding Principles and the founding partners are available on the Security2Live pages hosted by Virtually Informed (see below for details).

Flavius Plesu, co-founder and CEO at OutThink (provider of the human risk protection platform) observed: “When we talk about security, it’s clear that people play a critical role. Over the past decade, we’ve seen that attempts to raise awareness have simply not been effective or driven a sustainable change in security behaviours. To cope with the threat of cyber crime, security leaders need to guide and motivate people to build personal digital safety skills. To effectively manage the risk, they must also support people with the appropriate technology, tools and processes. We call this ‘human risk protection’. We’re excited to bring this concept to the world with Security2Live which takes a fundamentally different approach to any previous industry initiative.”

Security2Live welcomes support from enterprises that want to make a significant impact to their employee’s digital safety skills in time for Cyber Security Awareness Month this coming October. Security2Live is looking to work with enterprises to host face-to-face digital safety skills sessions.

*For an introduction to Security2Live and its founding principles access https://www.virtuallyinformed.com/security2live

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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