It's a difficult message to get across at the best of times. Those who have never been affected before still have the "it will never happen to me" mentality and don't really understand the impact a security breach can have. So news days like today have us watching very keenly indeed and crying into our tea mugs.
Brute force and ignorance
Firstly you've got a story about the FBI demanding that Apple provide it with the means by which it can breach its encryption technology "for the greater good" and Apple telling it to go take a hike. Apple are right to point out the implications for all of us outwith the case in hand - if you build a back door, it's just a magnet for the bad guys and no amount of promises or threats will keep these systems secure. Then there's an article about a staggering data breach that's affecting hundreds of research students at The University of Greenwich.
The first story is about power and control, the second is about a culture that simply doesn't give a toss. The fact that so many procedures and policies were breached doesn't show malice - it shows ignorance. You could argue that the FBI doesn't need master keys when it can rely on the lack of care by organisations for whom the data has no value.
Taking a stand
We applaud Apple for fighting the FBI's demands. The implications of governments being able to dip in an out of our data are far-reaching. We need these technology giants to take a stand and we'll be watching closely to see how they do. In the meantime, we would all be greatly helped if organisations large and small treated their data security with the same respect that Apple does.
Posted by Kirsty McIntosh on Wednesday, February 17, 2016