The government has today unveiled its Internet Safety Strategy, aiming to make Britain the safest place on the world to be online.
Among the measures announced are compulsory school subjects providing online safety education and a new social media code of practice. IT security experts commented below.
David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab:
“It is positive to see the government considering the introduction of new compulsory school subjects on cyber safety. However, this will not be effective unless there is sufficient training and education available for teachers to deliver this. As we know, they already have to struggle with the fast pace of technology. This may mean providing funding specifically for training and education of teachers, in addition to rolling out the curriculum for this subject.
We have seen many initiatives from the government encouraging social media companies to do the right thing by providing safety advice and tools, but perhaps we need to see concrete action in order to see real change. It’s like asking consumers to “please wear a seatbelt as it is the right thing to do for your safety and the safety of others”;encouragement isn’t always enough on its own. In addition, perhaps it’s time for the government to require social media companies to make security and privacy default settings.”
Raj Samani, Chief Scientist and Fellow at McAfee:
“It’s positive to see the Government continuing to build on its mission of making the UK the safest place to do business online. The new Internet Safety Strategy outlines a very positive approach to supporting the country’s technology start-ups, with the DCMS advocating that it will work with industry bodies to help budding tech firms understand from the earliest stages what good online safety looks like and best practice steps for building safety features into their products.
“Britain has a thriving technology sector, with digital tech investment 50% higher than any other European country and the digital sector creating jobs twice as fast as non-digital sectors. However, with the increasingly volatile cyber threat landscape, the success of the industry is contingent on it being built secure by design. Companies that fall victim to cyberattacks and data breaches suffer reputation damage, customer loss, and the loss of revenue during any disrupted periods – and post-GDPR enforcement such events could also lead to organisations facing severe penalties. It’s therefore an important step forward that the Government is considering how it can help its start-ups ensure their company and products are secure from the outset.”