Posted by Richard Saunders, director, Trustworthy Computing

Last week I was in London for RSA Europe. As ever, there was a rich exchange of opinion on security best practices and solutions reinforcing, if ever we could forget, cyber security as a topic with universal relevance. 

In his opening keynote Art Coviello referred to October being the U.S. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), which is marked by a series of events to provide consumer education and guidance for improved online safety and security. As part of our contribution to NCSAM we announced the results of a scam defense survey, which shares the top five most common scams that impact adults in the U.S.

Of course, the U.S. is not alone in this effort. For example, I recently spoke to a colleague in Italy about the Global Cyber Security Center (GCSEC), a not-for-profit organization that develops and disseminates knowledge and awareness on cyber security issues to improve skills, cooperation and communication between groups involved in the use and protection of the Internet.

Recently a coalition of private companies, nonprofits and government organizations such as Canada’s Public Safety Canada and GET CYBER SAFE announced their adoption of STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ — a unified online safety message
developed in 2009 to support national cyber security awareness. Microsoft is a founding member and the message is gaining strong momentum across the globe. In addition, on February 5, 2013 many countries will unite via International Safer Internet Day to share online safety guidance and advice to consumers.  

Going back to RSA Europe, I listened to all the keynotes. On day one TwC general manager Adrienne Hall followed talks from RSA president Tom Heiser and Symantec’s Francis de Souza. Listening to them it struck me that the common theme running through their comments was the importance of intelligence in dealing with increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals.

Intelligence was also one of the themes of Adrienne’s keynote – she announced volume 13 of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report. She also spoke about some of the defense strategies and free tools available from Microsoft that IT pros can use to defend against such threats. In addition, she announced the release of Microsoft’s Cloud Security Readiness Tool, which helps companies better understand their current IT state, learn relevant industry regulations, and receive guidance on evaluating cloud adoption.

Events like RSA Europe are an opportunity for companies to come together and address some of the pressing security, privacy, safety and reliability trends and issues that concern organizations and consumers. As they say, it takes a village. Improving cyber security to help make the Internet a safer place will continue to require strong collaboration between public private partnerships and consumers around the world. To learn more, please see our recent cyber security post.