According to a recent study by the Atlas VPN team, the United States, United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia lead in commitment to cybersecurity.
As technologies continue to evolve, governments around the world must face the reality of cyber threats and adapt their security practices. A study reports on countries’ scores on the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), varying cybersecurity training and practices, and additional statistics which help to create a fuller picture of the global relationship to cybersecurity.
A GCI score is given by evaluating each country’s commitment to legal, technical, organizational, capacity development, and cooperation indicators. The United States earned a perfect score of 100, getting all 20 points in each GCI indicator. However, while the US has the most cybersecurity resources, the latest cyberattacks on Americans have shown room for improvement.
The United Kingdom follows behind, scoring 99.54 points in GCI. The score indicates that the UK has to employ more computer incident response teams, enabling a country to respond to incidents at the national level using a centralized contact point and promote quick and systematic action.
Saudi Arabia shares second place, getting the same score of 99.54 as the UK. While being one of the fastest developing countries, Saudi Arabia has placed great importance on cybersecurity.
Estonia takes the fourth slot as they scored 99.48, losing just half a point in the capacity development indicator. Estonia has become one of the heavyweights in cybersecurity with a high-functioning central system for monitoring, reporting, and resolving incidents.
The Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Spain all share fifth place, scoring 98.52 points.
Cybersecurity writer and researcher at Atlas VPN William Sword shares his thoughts on the current cybersecurity landscape, “Beyond co-operating within countries, Global Cybersecurity Index leaders could help less developed countries address cybersecurity challenges. For example, creating a strategy or sharing good cyber practices can help reach more balanced and robust security against cyber threats.”
Lack of cybersecurity training
One of the reasons why cyber attacks continue to increase is a lack of cybersecurity education and training.
Just 46% of countries provided specific cybersecurity training for the public sector and government officials. Employees in these fields usually work with a lot of sensitive or confidential information, which is why education on cybersecurity is essential.
Meanwhile, 41% of countries provided cybersecurity training to small and medium enterprises or private companies. Businesses often become targets for hackers as the latter can easily profit off of stolen data or ransomware attacks. While more prominent private companies can afford cybersecurity experts, smaller businesses do not have such luxury.
Law enforcement agents received educational cybersecurity programs in only 37% of countries, while only 31% of countries provide training to judicial and legal actors. This training may help officers and executors of the law understand how hackers think, identify the tools that hackers use to commit attacks, and ultimately prevent and protect from future cybercrime.
Beyond co-operating within countries, Global Cybersecurity Index leaders could help less developed countries address cybersecurity challenges. Creating a strategy or sharing good cyber practices can help reach more balanced and robust security against cyber threats.
Protecting an individual’s identity from cyber thieves can be a monumental task, especially when thieves can gather information about someone by just using public data sources.
That’s why Rohit Chadha, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri, is working with researchers at the University of Illinois-Chicago and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on a $1.2 million grant over 4 years from the National Science Foundation to study how to help prevent privacy leaks when there is a large amount of data that can be gathered publicly.
“Differential privacy is a technique invented about fifteen years ago that ensures when someone asks questions of online databases — census data, consumer trends or aggregated information such as salary range or average number of children of people living in a certain area — the privacy of a person’s digital records remains intact,” Chadha said. “You still want to be able to grant access to these inquires because the data is important for businesses, researchers and governments. On the other hand, you also want to be able to protect an individual’s privacy.”
By asking enough valid questions of different databases, cyber thieves can build enough of a person’s profile that they can use that information in nefarious ways. Chadha said researchers have already begun testing different methods to thwart cyber thieves trying to attempt this.
“The research community has been aware of the possibility of these attacks for some time,” Chadha said.
Chadha, along with Aravinda Sistla of University of Illinois-Chicago and Mahesh Viswanathan of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and their teams will use the grant to verify the quality of the current methods being used and work to improve those methods as needed.
Facebook’s reputation has certainly taken a hit in recent years, especially on its main account, Facebook. Scandal after scandal have rocked this company, which is why it is more important than ever before that you, whether you are a business or an individual, work hard to dismantle your account so that your online data cannot be used against you.
Threats on Facebook
There are many threats to Facebook. Knowing these threats is key to avoiding them and to reduce the risk of your more personal accounts, like your bank account or even information that can lead to identity theft are not accessible to thieves online.
Use of Personal Information Against You
Public profiles are not Facebook’s fault. It is up to you to share information publicly or privately. By sharing information publicly, however, you run the risk of breaches. Most notably, a hacker could determine the answers to security questions on your accounts, and then work their way into more important accounts through the back door.
In the past, Facebook was a massive company that seemed completely impenetrable. Today it has been fraught with scandals and become a breeding ground for misinformation. In 2018, over 50 million users’ data was hacked into. The year before the Cambridge Analytica scandal proved that firms could pay their way to access private information and even skew election results. According to the NYTimes, this scandal has possibly even led to the deaths of individuals around the world.
Cyberstalking and harassment are both very serious issues, especially for those who have public information that makes it easy for the cyberstalker to find you in the real world.
How to Avoid These Cyber Threats
To avoid these cyber threats, you will want to:
Set Up Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication, though not perfect, can stop a general hack.
Create a Unique Password for Facebook
Create unique passwords for every account so that breaches which involve your password being stolen are isolated.
Delete All Unnecessary Information
Go through your profile and old posts and delete all unnecessary information that can be used to correctly enter security questions.
Audit Your Friends List
If you aren’t actually friends with them, unfriend them. You don’t need strangers accessing your personal information.
There is a setting which will remove your profile from Google and other search engines. Use this feature.
If you get harassment via messages, report, block, and do not engage.
Use Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
What is EDR? EDR, or Endpoint Detection and Response, is a way to analyze your endpoints. Perfect for companies, this can help ensure that a Facebook login on your server doesn’t inadvertently let hackers into your Cloud account where they can then access your data. With EDR, you will be able to monitor your endpoints and respond to attacks before they become an issue.
You should never use Facebook, as an individual or as a company, without considering the risk and how you can mitigate it. By taking these steps, you can minimize and avoid cyber threats altogether. Continue to audit your accounts and use new security features to reduce the risk associated with putting your data online.
Despite President Trump’s declaration of October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the administration has failed to take the necessary steps to address the growing cybersecurity threats facing the nation so far…
Government and military agencies have had multiple deadlines to review and assess their cyber security status and suggest improvements, but little has been done to implement any changes as of yet.
Available to weigh in is cyber security expert Roderick Jones. The founder of cyber security firm Rubica and a former member of Scotland Yard’s Special Branch where he focused on international terrorism, Roderick understands how cyber security poses a national threat.
According to Roderick, the Trump administration’s policy focused on national infrastructure and against the background of the Equifax breach does not protect the consumer. Washington’s desire to avoid a policy debate actually results in not protecting the country’s consumers.
Roderick points out that’s where Rubica comes in. Unlikely other cyber security precautions which can be highly time consuming and technical, Rubica offers a simple to install app for iOS, Mac, PC, and Android. Once installed the app runs in the background and Rubica’s cyber security experts will keep you safe.
The Rubica team can block data traffic that appears to be nefarious and will reach out if your attention is needed. A typical customer will install Rubica on all key family members and professional colleagues.
Roderick Jones is the CEO and founder of Rubica, a cyber security firm. He began his career with Scotland Yard’s Special Branch focused on international terrorism and the close protectionof a prominent British cabinet member. Following his move to San Francisco, Roderick founded the private security company Concentric Advisors, and served as CEO for seven years growing it to become the largest and most influential privately held security firm on the west coast of the United States. His work during this period included the design and delivery of security for a number of high-growth Silicon Valley companies. He is also recognized as a leading expert in the field of family and executive security. Roderick has consulted widely on next-generation security projects with the United States military and intelligence community, notably the impact of online gaming and virtual worlds as well as the threat of computer hacking to financial markets. He has been asked to brief at the White House, Downing Street and the Pentagon on a variety of national security topics during his career, and is a frequent guest speaker at national and international conferences. Roderick has a Master’s degree in History from the University of Cambridge and further professional qualifications from MIT.
TV One Unveils Public Service Announcement to Accompany Debut of Original Film, When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story on Monday, August 28
Network leverages film to create open dialogue about domestic violence through partnerships with youth organization Saving Our Daughters and the National Domestic Violence Hotline
When TV One’s new original film, When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story premieres on Monday, August 28, the cast, director and producers want the audience to be educated and informed while they are entertained. Based on a popular episode of the network’s true crime series, For My Man, the film depicts the true life tragedy of a teen mom in Atlanta who found herself the victim of psychological manipulation and physical abuse at the hands of a man who claimed to love her. Instead, he encouraged her participation in a life of stripping, prostitution, robbery and ultimately, murder – all in the name of love.
“When I was 14, I dropped out of school – a lot of people don’t know that. By the age of 16, I was bartending in a strip club, by the age of 20 I was stripping…so I understand how Falicia got there,” says film director Tasha Smith, who signed up for the project as her feature-length directorial debut. “By the grace of God, I ended up here, but she ended up in jail for the rest of her life.”
Yet, before Falicia was convicted of murder, she was a young girl looking for love and validation in all the wrong places. In an effort to reinforce the film’s underlying message that real love doesn’t hurt, TV One, in partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, will air a public service announcement during the film presentation.
“This film is a cautionary tale about everything love shouldn’t be in our communities,” says Lori Hall, TV One SVP of Marketing. “Tasha Smith directs a powerful story that reveals exactly how a teenager can fall victim to a relationship that quickly moves from loving to abusive and unhealthy. We want this film to be a wake-up call for young people and families and we hope it will start a lot of dialogue in homes around the country.”
The PSA reveals that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Chief Communications Officer Cameka Crawford joined panel discussions at TV One film screenings in Atlanta, New Orleans, New York and Los Angeles to provide the audience with resources to get help if they know someone who may be in an abusive relationship.
“Your instinct may be to ‘save’ them from the relationship, but it’s not that simple. Abuse is about power and control, so one of the most important ways you can help someone in an abusive relationship is to think about how you might empower them to make their own decisions,” says Crawford. “You can also offer support by listening without judgment and reassuring them that the abuse is not their fault. If you need help starting the conversation, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or visit www.thehotline.org.”
Additionally, TV One partnered with Saving Our Daughters, an organization whose mission is to empower teenage girls from multicultural backgrounds through theater, music, film and television, to help overcome many obstacles such as bullying (cyber, gossip, face-to-face), dating abuse, domestic violence and other esteem slayers. Young ladies attended the When Love Kills premieres held in Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles to walk the red carpet with the cast and have a dialogue about real love and self-esteem.
“We are extremely blessed and excited about our new and ground breaking partnership with TV One. We look forward to the positive impact on working together to encourage and change the girls’ lives we serve,” says Curtis Benjamin, Saving Our Daughters Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer. “TV One’s original movie cast, directors and producers of ‘When Love Kills’ have truly developed a tool for our girls to help create empowering conversations about date abuse, domestic violence and healthy mother and daughter relationships.”
Lance Gross, who plays Falicia’s abusive and manipulative boyfriend Dino, conducted research and prayed before taking on the role. Gross believes both women and men will see what not to do in relationships and child rearing by viewing this film.
“I want people to learn something from this film because I’m a father,” he emphasized. “Just reading this script and participating in this project makes me want to go home and love my daughter even harder, because who knows who the next Falicia Blakely will be.”
Still rocked by the experience of undertaking the role, Gross decided to email the real Falicia Blakely in prison and was surprised to receive a response. She thanked Gross and those involved in the film for their willingness to raise awareness against domestic violence.
When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story premieres Monday, August 28 at 9 p.m. ET on TV One.
Watch the When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakley Story PSAHERE
Watch the When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakley Story TRAILER HERE
ABOUT THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a non-profit organization established in 1996 as a component of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Operating around the clock, confidential and free of cost, The Hotline provides victims and survivors with life-saving tools and immediate support. Callers to the hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) can expect highly trained advocates to offer compassionate support, crisis intervention information and referral services in more than 200 languages. Visitors to TheHotline.org can chat live with advocates and they can find information about domestic violence, safety planning, local resources, and ways to support the organization.
The Hotline relies on the generous support of individuals, private gifts from corporations and foundations and federal grants. It is funded in part by Grant Number 90EV0407/03 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/ Family Violence Prevention and Services Program, a division of the Family and Youth Services Bureau in the Administration for Children and Families. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Administration for Children and Families or the U.S. Department of HHS.
ABOUT SAVING OUR DAUGHTERS
Saving Our Daughters (SOD), a 501c-3 organization, creates the tools to get teen girls discussing key issues and fired up to take the power away from bullying (cyber, gossip, face-to-face), date abuse, hate crimes, school violence, violence against women, and other esteem slayers. SOD has had the honor of collaborating with key talent in film, television, and music with its celebrity-inspired book series as well as decades of experiential learning programs. With a powerful network of community partners, SOD delivers a revolutionary level of awareness and action to determinedly instigate fiercely confident living.
ABOUT TV ONE
Launched in January 2004, TV One (www.tvone.tv) serves more than 60 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies and music designed to entertain and inform a diverse audience of adult Black viewers. The network is the exclusive home of NewsOne Now, the only live daily news program targeting Black viewers. In December 2008, the company launched TV One High Def, which now serves 14 million households. TV One is solely owned by Radio One [NASDAQ: ROIA and ROIAK, www.radio-one.com], the largest radio company that primarily targets Black and urban listeners.
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