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Why We Need to Make Every Day A Safer Internet day

Being aware of, and advocating for safer internet isn't just a one day occasion; It should be an everyday mission.

safer internet

Of late the Internet is abuzz with special days to remind us ‘we are not safe in the cyber world’ and that’s indeed a fact of life. Last month the ‘International Data Privacy Day‘ was celebrated with great enthusiasm. On February 11 this year, organizations are again upbeat on celebrating ‘Safer Internet Day’.

With its roots in Europe, Safer Internet Day is an annual worldwide event that goes a long way in raising awareness for Internet safety and education. It is now recognized in around 150 countries worldwide and aims to increase awareness about emerging online issues, such as cyber-bullying, and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns. This year, the theme is “Together for a better internet”.

But being aware of, and advocating for safer internet isn’t just a one day occasion; It should be an everyday mission.

Together for a better Internet

India is the second-largest online market in the world, only after China. According to data by Statista, India alone is expected to have 564.5 million internet users in 2020. As the information super highway is also the tool of choice for organized crime, predators of many stripes and people who seek to do harm on a scale previously unthinkable. Properly managed, the Internet experience is enriching.

“As internet usage grows exponentially in India, businesses need to do their best to protect their customers’ data. One of the most common mistakes businesses make is to implement security measures as an after-thought instead of treating cybersecurity as a foundation for any digital initiative,” commented Diwakar Dayal, Managing Director, Tenable India.

Bhavin Turakhia, Founder & CEO, Flock said, “With the rapid development of new technologies such as machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), analytics etc., there has been a simultaneous increase in the complexity and sophistication of cyber-threats. Owing to the rise in IT security breaches, there is a need for organisations and individuals to be alert about how their data is collected, used, shared and the steps that need to be taken to better manage confidential information. In such a situation, businesses need to constantly evaluate the platforms and apps they leverage for business purposes, from a data security perspective.

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“While rapid growth of internet adoption and digital technologies has given wings to people to grow their ideas online like never before, there is a greater risk of getting critical business resources and customer information compromised. It has now become crucial for emerging entrepreneurs and business owners, to safeguard their customers’ information, as well as their own, from external threats,” added Nikhil Arora, Vice President and Managing Director, GoDaddy India.

The reality is, there’s no system that’s unhackable. But there’s a wealth of resources available, as well as some relatively simple and cost-effective steps that organizations can practice to minimize the chances of compromising their Internet security.

“Today, data breaches in organizations are making headlines regularly. Organizations cannot afford security lapses especially considering the high volumes of critical customer data they access to derive crucial insights and decisions. To strengthen their security architecture, organizations need to adopt a multi-layered approach to security and privacy that employs data encryption, creates secure databases and puts in place provisions for authorized access,” Redickaa Subrammanian, Founder and CEO, Resulticks commented.

To keep the internet safe, Turakhia suggests, “One approach is to opt for workplace collaboration and communication platforms that have in-built enterprise security features such as data encryption, privacy of messages and personal data, as well as strict controls over data access and user rights. This Safer Internet Day, organisations need to also invest in the training of their IT teams and employees with the knowledge and skill-sets required to tackle today’s advanced cyber-threats.”

But organizations can’t afford to leave it to just one day a year.

Safer internet initiative is an ongoing process as there’s a lot more at stake than the way we approach interactions and our activity on the web. The company’s safety focus needs to include employees, customers and the wider community from the information and data they collect and store. In such a scenario, Shibu Paul, VP – International Sales at Array Networks believes that ensuring data safety is of utmost importance for organizations across sectors.

“The cyber risk management practices and mindsets of yesterday no longer suffice and may actually inhibit innovation. It is incumbent upon CISOs to focus on nurturing strong cyber security culture with appropriate levels for governance, prioritization, management focus, and ownership,” Paul said.

Dayal added, “Businesses should focus on mastering basic cyber hygiene — something which is still to blame for the majority of incidents and breaches. Patching systems and using strong authentication can go a long way in significantly reducing the risk of compromise.

The following are some of the best ways to recognize the spirit of Safer Internet Day every day:

  1. Focus on Password Safety: Remind employees to always use a strong password. You should also encourage your staff to create different passwords for each account. It can also be helpful to use two-factor authentication any time it’s offered in order to keep accounts as secure as possible.
  2. Keep All Devices Locked Down: No matter what devices your employees use for work—including tablets, smartphones, or computers—they should all only be accessible to one employee. This means all devices should require authentication, such as a password, facial recognition, or fingerprint. This way, no one outside the company can easily unlock the device and retrieve sensitive information about the company.
  3. Keep Security Options Updated: Another way to protect employees’ devices on a regular basis is to be sure they have updated features to keep them secure. This includes firewalls and antivirus software to stop potential cyber crimes from taking place and putting company information at risk.
  4. Remind Your Employees about email Safety: Your employees are bound to get emails from unknown senders quite often. Make sure they know not to click on any links or download attachments from those emails which often contain virus.
  5. Provide Security Training to Your Company: One of the best ways to celebrate Safer Internet Day any day is to deploy security awareness training to your employees on a regular basis.

Cybersecurity challenges are complex and there’s no silver bullet to creating a better and safer internet. As Dayal said, “As an industry, we must raise awareness of internet safety and encourage organizations to get more involved in the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology in the country.”

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Sohini Bagchi
Sohini Bagchi is Editor at CXOToday, a published author and a storyteller. She can be reached at