Friday, June 26, 2015

Cybersecurity & Civic Hacking # 3: The Right Person / Topics Of Interest

On this blog, I wrote two previous posts about Cybersecurity & Civic Hacking for three reasons:

  1. To introduce you to the concept of civic hacking related to cybersecurity.
  2. To present an open proposal to the citizens of NE Wisconsin for a collaborative regional cybersecurity initiative which has a civic hacking component.
  3. To convince you that 99% of NE Wisconsin citizens need improved cybersecurity by highlighting ways computers and smartphones are used insecurely on public WiFi.

The primary goal of my posts about cybersecurity and civic hacking is to spur the launch of a NE Wisconsin collaborative initiative to achieve a high level of cybersecurity for citizens, businesses and other organizations in our region.

Today's post has two topics; (1) connecting the 'right influential person' with this cybersecurity proposal, and (2) cybersecurity topics I'll write posts about for this blog.

A collaborative regional cybersecurity initiative may seem like something that’s too big to wrap your arms or mind around. It may seem like Don Quixote tilting at windmills to get the 18 counties of NE Wisconsin to work together on a single ambitious program like this. A friend told me he didn’t think there was anything he do to help me get the proposed cybersecurity program started.

So you might wonder, ‘what will it take to get a collaborative regional cybersecurity initiative started?’

All it will take is for the Right Influential Person to hear about the regional cybersecurity proposal and decide to support and promote it.

I’ve seen it happen over and over. It takes many smart and dedicated people to make big, impactful, worthwhile projects happen. But it all starts with one person, someone who can see the big picture and has connections, influence or money. If they decide an idea is a good one, they can make things happen, make the idea come to life.

The most likely way the right influential person will hear about the proposal is if people who read this blog tell others about the proposal, express their agreement with the concept, and send a link to this post, a link to “Cybersecurity: A New Horizon For Civic Hacking?” or a link to one of the other cybersecurity posts on this blog, to people they know. If you know influential people, you should definitely tell them, but you should also tell others you know. Because even if you don’t know an influential person who can be the key to launching this cybersecurity initiative, you do know people who might know that Right Influential Person. By sharing our concerns and our desire to improve the situation, we can get the message to the right person.

As a civic hacker, I’ve done the first part of my role by identifying the need for improvement and developing a solution for the problem. The ‘need’ is that my level of cybersecurity knowledge and everyday application is lousy, and so is yours and that of most residents and organizations in NE Wisconsin. As was recently explained by Alex Stamos, the cybersecurity chief for Yahoo:

Alex Stamos, Yahoo CISO
“...I’m not very happy with where we are as an industry,” he said, with a grim look on his face. “We’re really focusing on the 1%,” he added, referring to the small number of companies that can afford to spend on cybersecurity teams and products, and the minority of internet users who are literate enough to jump through the hoops that are needed to be safer online...“The vast majority of people are not safe using the internet everyday…”


You and I need to change the situation so residents and organizations in NE Wisconsin are part of “the minority of internet users who are literate enough to jump through the hoops that are needed to be safer online.”

The ‘solution’ is the regional cybersecurity initiative that I proposed in “Cybersecurity: A New Horizon For Civic Hacking?” and reiterated in “Cybersecurity & Civic Hacking # 2: Public Wi-Fi.”

I can’t personally make the regional cybersecurity initiative happen because I don’t have the influence, connections or money to do so. But as a civic hacker, I can continue to write blog posts and talk to people about this topic. I can (1) educate the residents of NE Wisconsin about the totally inadequate level of cybersecurity in our region, (2) try to distill and present the concept of a regional cybersecurity program so people understand it and are convinced it is the right solution, and (3) work to persuade people who read or hear my proposal that they should tell other people about it. If I'm successful with those three goals, I’m confident the Right Influential Person will hear about the proposal and make it happen.

That brings us to the education part of my civic hacking task. I’ll be writing cybersecurity posts regularly to educate people about cybersecurity problems. Sooner or later, reading about one of the many cybersecurity issues will make the light come on for people and convince them that something should be done to improve cybersecurity right here at home, in NE Wisconsin. Not in Mountain View, CA, at Google’s HQ. Not in Redmond, WA, in the Microsoft offices or research labs. Not in Cupertino, CA, at Apple, not in Stanford, CA, at Stanford University or in Cambridge, MA, at MIT.
And not in Washington, DC in the hallowed halls of the US government. Sure, it's true things need to happen in those places to improve cybersecurity for all US citizens and for other people around the world.

But I don’t feel it’s worthwhile for me to try and influence or work on what happens in those faraway places. I do feel like it’s worth trying to influence what happens with cybersecurity in NE Wisconsin.

So I’m going to write a bunch of posts about topics that I think people in this region might be concerned about or interested in. If you have a cybersecurity topic of interest or concern to you, let me know (bwaldron [at] gmail {dott} com), and I’ll research it and write a post about that topic. The list below is long, ambitious, and subject to change. But it’s a starting point.

Cryptolocker
  1. Understanding Your Personal Cybersecurity
  2. Personal Cybersecurity Audit
  3. Understanding Organizational Cybersecurity
  4. NE Wisconsin College Cybersecurity Program
  5. Northeast Wisconsin Cyber Defense Force (NEW CDF)
  6. Personal Computer Security
  7. Smartphone Security
  8. Security In The Cloud
  9. Cryptolocker And Ransomware
  10. Viruses, Worms, Trojans, Spyware And Other Malware
  11. Antivirus, Antimalware And Security Software
  12. Cybersecurity: How To Know If You’ve Been Attacked
  13. Online Banking and Finances
  14. Digital Wallets
  15. Debit Cards And Credit Cards
  16. Buying Stuff Online
  17. Using Public Wi-Fi
  18. Using Wi-Fi Securely At Home
  19. Non-WiFi Wireless Security
  20. How To Choose A Computer Security Company
  21. Passwords And Biometric Security
  22. Google USB Hardware Security Key
    Google USB security key
  23. Private Information And Identify Theft
  24. Identity Theft: They Have My Info, Now What?
  25. PC & Phone: Digital Attackers Owned Me, Now What?
  26. Personal Cybersecurity: Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Apple
  27. Who Owns Your Information
  28. Facial Recognition
  29. Biometric Cybersecurity
  30. Encryption
  31. BYOD Security (Using Personal Devices For Work)
  32. IoT Security (Internet of Things)
  33. Ubiquitous Listening Machines
  34. Simply Secure
  35. Anonymous Web Use
  36. Bitcoin And Digital Currency
  37. Cybersecurity: Windows, Mac & Linux
  38. Cybersecurity Legal Issues
  39. Cybersecurity Fiction Literature
  40. Wwwwww wwwww wwwww
  41. Xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx
  42. Yyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyy yyyyyyyy
  43. Zzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzz zzzzzzzz

Xxxxxxxxx, Yyyyyyyyy and Zzzzzzzzz will be topics readers of this blog suggest, or additional cybersecurity problems I think people might be interested in. Those topics won’t go at the bottom of my priority list; they’ll likely be close to the top since people have expressed their interest or concern about the topic.

Thank you for taking personal responsibility for improving this situation and for spreading the word so the Right Influential Person will know about the proposed collaborative regional cybersecurity initiative!

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DHMN Civic Hacks posts about 'Cybersecurity & Civic Hacking':
C&CH # 01: "Cybersecurity: A New Horizon For Civic Hacking?"
C&CH # 02: “Cybersecurity & Civic Hacking # 2: Public Wi-Fi
C&CH # 03: This post, published June 26, 2015
C&CH # 04: "Cybersecurity & CH # 4: Malware"
C&CH # 05: “Cybersecurity & CH # 5: Even Cybersecurity Companies Get Hacked!
C&CH # 06: "Cybersecurity & CH # 6: How Cybersecure Is Your Car?"
C&CH # 07: "Cybersecurity & CH # 7: Data Breaches"
C&CH # 08: "Cybersecurity & CH # 8: Hype or Reality?"

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