If you take a look at the many podcasts available on the topic of cyber security, it may be overwhelming. Not only are there a lot, but they are often very technical. The intended audience is the cyber experts who do pen testing, vulnerability assessments, end point protection, network scanning…
Hold on. Did I lose you?
That’s the whole point. What is needed is a common sense, practical, easy to understand cyber security broadcast for those who don’t speak geek. (It’s ok for me to say it. I’m a nerd at heart.)
If you feel intimidated by those highly technical conversations, then the Commonwealth Sentinel monthly “Office Hours” is for you. On the last Wednesday of the month, from 1:30-2:30 pm EDT on Facebook Live, we host a conversation about cyber security “for the rest of us”.
Cyber security is not just for the experts. It’s for everyone. That’s why we have conversations that are about the cyber security issues that everyone should know about. And we encourage our viewers to submit their questions – whatever they are.
On the April “Office Hours”, in addition to talking about the current issues in cyber security, we were joined by Dr. Kathleen Kiernan. A 29-year veteran of Federal Law Enforcement, Dr. Kiernan retired as Assistant Director for ATF. With over 40-years-experience in law enforcement, intelligence and the defense industry, Dr. Kiernan is first and foremost an educator.
In 2019, Dr. Kiernan founded Preparedness without Paranoia (PwP), a 501 (c) (3) established “to help empower parents and children to invest in their own safety and security through education and community engagement”. Especially in today’s world of remote learning and online everything, cyber threats are at an all-time high for our families, our businesses and our communities.
Much like the basic tenet of our “Office Hours”, PwP is based on a philosophy that “security sense is common sense”. Additionally, if we teach our children preparedness skills early, they will last a lifetime. As Aristotle once said, “We are what we habitually do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” And cyber security is not a destination but a journey.
We do our families and our co-workers a disservice by not providing information that is uncomfortable or scary. The same is true with cyber security. Denial will not keep you safe from harm. As Dr. Kiernan said during our conversation, most people are at the intersection of fear and fact where too much of one or too little of the other freezes people in place. If they have too little information, they can’t decide what to do. Conversely, if they have too much information, they can’t decide what to do. Therefore, if we give people the right information and take away the fear of indecision, they will be able to react more quickly and appropriately.
We must develop a culture of community and engagement. In simplest terms, if you see something, say something. We must engage our employees, our community and our families as part of the security around us all.
For more information about Preparedness without Paranoia, visit www.pwporg.org and check out the Parents with Preparedness magazine for great articles to help families be more prepared.
Be sure to join us on our next “Office Hours” on Wednesday, May 26, at 1:30 pm EDT on Facebook Live. You can also see the recording from this week’s episode on our Facebook page.