What If Breach Prevention Started In High School?

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Think Security First! Campaign Offers Free Security Awareness Training For All – Including High School Students

The most vulnerable endpoints have always been employees, and their most vulnerable endpoints are their click-happy fingers.

As mistakes by employees continue to create vulnerabilities leading to daily and often massive data breaches, the Think Security First! security awareness campaign aims to help reduce those vulnerabilities and breaches by offering free and unlimited security awareness education to employees, executives, and even high school students.

Numerous studies have suggested that the biggest contributor to the endless stream of data and security breaches is simply mistakes by employees, and often through nothing more than a lack of commitment to training. And that often happens because of a lack of training budget. By making security awareness free for all, Think Security First! hopes to remove the budget obstacle from security training decisions.

“The most vulnerable endpoints have always been employees, and their most vulnerable endpoints are their click-happy fingers,” said Neal O’Farrell, creator of the Think Security First! program and a 35-year veteran of the security industry. “Security awareness has to be universal and relentless, from the boardroom to the classroom, and we hope that by making it available to all at no cost, we can achieve that."

According to the 2016 Human Factor Report from Proofpoint, attackers are increasingly shifting their attacks from targeting technical vulnerabilities to exploiting human mistakes, using attacks like phishing, ransomware, social engineering, infected attachments, and social media scams to break through increasingly complex perimeters.

Think Security First! is taking a first major step to improve security awareness by offering comprehensive, immersive, and free security awareness training for employees and beyond.

The Think Security First! program includes:

  • 14 interactive online lessons with built-in quizzes, a final exam, and certification for proof of completion and compliance.
  • Easy-to-follow lessons on phishing, malware, mobile, email and messaging, passwords, security outside the office, data handling and protection, BYOD, and even personal security threats like identity theft.
  • No limitations or restrictions. Employees can take as many lessons as they want, as often as they want, from wherever they want.
  • The League of Security Champions – an online forum to encourage, support, educate, and reward those in charge of security awareness in their workplace.

Think Security First! has also introduced a version of the program called Schooled in Security that will encourage high school students to participate in the very same training and testing as employees, so that they’re already security aware and savvy by the time they enter the workforce.

“Good security habits start young,” according to Mr. O’Farrell. “If we can engage students in security training while they’re still in high school, we have a great opportunity to bake awareness in early. “

Schooled In Security will soon be launching as a pilot program in Silicon Valley.

About Think Security First!

Think Security First! was originally launched in 2003 as the slogan for America’s first Cyber Secure City, a unique experiment to raise security awareness for an entire city, including all residents, businesses, and schools in the city. The city was Walnut Creek California (population 64,000) just across the bridge from San Francisco, and partners in the year-long experiment included Microsoft, AT&T, Cisco, McAfee, the US Chamber of Commerce and many others. The initiative was created and led by Neal O’Farrell, creator of the current Think Security First! program

About Neal O’Farrell

Neal O’Farrell is one of the world’s leading “people” security experts and has spent the last 35 years working in almost all sectors of the security industry. In the 1980s he was one of the first generation of crypto rebels to challenge the NSA. He was a member of the Federal Communications Commission’s Cybersecurity Roundtable, as well as the founder of the Center for Information Security Awareness where he created the entire training course and test. He currently heads the non-profit Identity Theft Council.

For more information visit thinksecurityfirst.net.

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