Elizabeth Neus is the managing editor of FedTech. Before joining FedTech, Elizabeth was a reporter and editor for Gannett, covering everything from federal health care policy and medicine to sports. She is the producer of the award-winning video series "Feds in the Field."
“We want to make keeping information safe a habit, just like buckling a seat belt,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly. “As cyberthreats continue to evolve, we encourage everyone to do their part to stay cyber-safe.”
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency launched this public service announcement as part of its “Secure Our World” campaign.
The Wes Anderson-flavored PSA focuses on a family and a small business, illustrating how they adopt cybersecurity practices in their daily lives. “These stories remind us who we’re empowering to secure our world,” said Alaina Clark, CISA’s assistant director for stakeholder engagement, who led the development of the “Secure Our World” campaign.
All Technology Users Need to Understand Cybersecurity Best Practices
The campaign — which will continue beyond Cybersecurity Awareness Month — recognizes the interconnectedness of today’s world, where 7 billion people rely on cellphones, 230 million emails are sent every minute and 360 million people use dating apps, Easterly said.
“It’s critical that every one of us take responsibility for keeping ourselves safe online,” she said. “It’s the obligation of every digital citizen.”
Ron Green, the chief security officer at Mastercard, one of the campaign partners, illustrated the need for those tools with the story of how his young son unwittingly gave up sensitive financial information to a scammer in a gaming chat.
“I’m immersed in security during the day at work,” he said. “But how often did I talk to my son about fraudsters? ‘Secure Our World’ gives us the ability to leverage those tools and communication skills and take it home.”
National Cybersecurity Alliance Executive Director Lisa Plaggemier reiterated that need in an interview with EdTech: “We think of our kids being tech savvy, but they’re not security savvy.”
And that’s the point of the campaign. “We’re not securing the technology. We’re keeping the users safe as they use the technology,” said Steve Faehl, federal security CTO for Microsoft.
CISA’s website provides information tailored to individuals and families, small and medium businesses, and manufacturers. “Technology manufacturers must create products that are secure by design to take that burden off individuals,” Easterly said.