[ISN] UK preps major security awareness campaign

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Oct 20 02:41:43 EDT 2004


By John Leyden
19th October 2004

A major UK government campaign to help small businesses and consumers
protect themselves from Internet security threats will launch in the
UK next year.

The National High-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) is co-ordinating the £2m
three-year security awareness campaign, codenamed Project Endurance,
and it is seeking business sponsorship. So it is off to rattle the tin
at a Confederation of British Industry conference on 8 November.  
Public launch is scheduled for the second quarter of 2005.

John Lyons, crime co-ordinator at the NHTCU, said the campaign will
aim to arrest the growth in computer security risks that threatens to
slow down the rise of ecommerce. "The aim is to reduce fraud losses
and to consolidate information, which is currently fragmented," he

Project Endurance will focus on the basics of Internet security.  
Subjects covered will include advising users to maintain up-to-date
anti-virus signatures, patch operating systems and use firewalls.  
Protecting personal information, password usage and protection and
counter-fraud measures will also be covered. The campaign will aim to
educate users about spyware and adware risks. Another planned element
will emphasise the importance of backing up systems.

Lyons compares Project Endurance to government campaigns against drink
driving, or the "clunk, click" campaign advising users to use safety
belts in cars. Early ideas for the scheme were outlined last week at
the Information Assurance Advisory Council's fifth annual symposium in

Andrew Miller MP, Joint vice-chairman of the Parliamentary Information
Technology Committee, backed Project Endurance's wide-ranging
approach. "Spam, virus and extortion are intellectually separate but
are all tied together. You can't pick out one part of the [cybercrime]
spectrum because they are all interlinked," he said.

Paul King, principal security consultant at Cisco Systems UK, said the
UK scheme is similar in aims to the US National Cyber Security
Alliance's StaySafeOnline scheme.

Peter Sommer, a security expert from the London School of Economics,
asked how the scheme would avoid to risk of overlap with the
"proliferation of initiatives" around computer security already
underway. Lyons said the programme would concentrate on basic IT
security and focus on the UK. The scheme will not look at child
protection issues, which are well-covered by other programmes, he

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