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Security is everyone’s responsibility!

Posted by on April 29, 2015.

Four simple words

This morning I accepted a new LinkedIn connection who works for Johns Hopkins University and SANs. Aside from all of his certifications, and over a decade of security experience  he is also recognized as a strong security advocate and change agent; is self-driven, self-motivated, and result-orientated. Though he obviously holds many credentials and is was well recognized in his field   it was his headline alone that sparked this blog post.

Four simple words later

I am still sitting here at my desk this morning marveling at the power of these four simple words:


These words have the capability to empower each one of us to take responsibility. We do not have to become victims of our own devices. It does not matter if we are nineteen or ninety-nine security is everyone’s responsibility.

IoT devices have exploded in popularity in recent years, with major tech firms and startups alike pouring funds into developing devices ranging from smart home security systems to sensor-laden fridges and mood lighting. It is estimated that by 2020, 25 billion connected devices — including IoT products — will be in use worldwide. —Charlie Osborne, ZDNet

When we purchase laptops, computers, Smartphones, tablets, and IoT devices (smart TVs, wearable tech, thermostats, home lighting, baby & elder monitors, etc) IN REALITY, it is the responsibility of engineers and manufacturers to provide strong baseline security for all devices, and easy-to-understand end user documentation (videos, guides, tutorials) to teach us how to secure our devices. This is not how it actually plays out though. Often enough, we buy a product that comes with crappy documentation and mediocre support.

Squeezably soft security?

Think about it. We drag our digital devices into some of the most private and intimate moments of our lives. Into our bedrooms, into our bathrooms, and into the hearth where family and friends gather. We embrace the latest technologies like they are akin to the softest toilet paper on the planet  and often enough we do not look at the privacy and security implications that ownership of these devices may entail.

wipe and flush security

Instead, all these instant-gratification-devices become part of the problem  All this wipeand flush-security is tragic; it doesn’t have to be like this. Like used toilet paper, security is easy to forget once you hit the flush lever.

What is the solution?

How do we push engineers and manufacturers to design devices from the ground up with security in mind? How do we stop ourselves from purchasing Smart TV’s that includes a voice recognition feature that can transmit sensitive conversations to a third party and boasts a 46-page privacy policy? Has technology evolved so rapidly that securing it is quickly becoming a cat-and-mouse game? Outside of engineers, manufacturers, and security experts what can we do to enable better security on the devices that we currently own, and how can we “the people” take responsibility for any devices that we choose to purchase in the future?

Until we meet again…teksecurity-blog

One thought on “Security is everyone’s responsibility!

  1. Thank you Exquisite for this important reminder.
    Yes, fully agree, security is everyone’s responsability.
    Each of us could put in danger the security of our network, be it professional or personal.
    This is the exact reason why, to protect children online,m I started the FlyAKite initiative for education and awareness. I could always teach my own children not to post online, what effect would it make if other freinds did it for them? On top of that, there is the peer pressure. My aim was that adult accompanying children would learn , teach, and actively work with their children to keep safe online.
    In a more general matter, my security emailing and exchanging with the world, depends on the security of my partners. I can’t tell you how I feel each time emailing important documents to lawyers not using any encryption.
    So yes, education and awareness are keys to bring everyone to reconsider their expectations from the industry.
    Ultimately, empowering consumers to ask for better privacy/security by design products, could improve the situation.
    I think each of us, blogging and writing bring a bit more, well needed, transparency to the tech world.
    You mentioned Smart TV, I have wrote about the private home video cameras broadcasting live the inside of the most intimate rooms. Users can’t imagine what tech brings for the best and the worst. Tech world needs more transparency for a real choice and consent.

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