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13 February 2008, 10:10

New UK security awareness forum launched

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A new umbrella organisation for spreading good security practice in the UK has been created. The launch on Tuesday in London of the Information Security Awareness Forum brings together much of the best security expertise in the UK, with the aim of raising awareness of the requirements for effective information security policy at all levels of government and commerce.

Current participants include the British Computer Society (BCS), the Communications Management Association (CMA), the European Information Society Group (EURIM), GetSafeOnline, the Jericho Forum and many other associations and campaign groups.

At the launch, Claire Sellick of Infosecurity Europe cited research findings that although 15 per cent of organisations believe their security technologies are not kept up to date with the changing threat landscape, only seven per cent believe their policies and processes are inadequate, suggesting that there is still limited awareness of the true function of security policies and processes.

Dr. David King, chairman of the new forum, identified a need for the numerous existing sources of guidance with their often mixed messages to be focused and coordinated into a single consistent message for everyone. Tony Neate, managing director of GetSafeOnline, confirmed that the actual requirements for good security awareness are common to all sectors; private, commercial and government. He believes it is merely the presentation that has to differ when addressing different audiences.

Philip Virgo, representing EURIM, IMIS and the WCIT commented that provided the forum can deliver as expected, it would "send a clear message to Government" on the need to improve security processes and policies. But he cautioned "unless the professionals get their act together and help set the agenda we are at risk of ill-informed and possibly even counter-productive political and regulatory initiatives".


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