AVAR 2014 paper

This is the paper by myself and Sebastian Bortnik, of ESET Latin America, presented at AVAR 2014 in Sydney: Lemming Aid and Kool Aid: Helping the Community to help itself through Education

And here’s the abstract:

There’s been no shortage of attempts to raise awareness of security issues in the community at large: probably everyone at a conference like AVAR has been involved in some form of security education at some time or other. But the quality and effectiveness of those attempts have been patchy at best. Are those who say that ‘if education was going to work, it would have worked by now’ in the right? Or is the problem with the piecemeal way that we do it?

This paper will look at a range of attempts to heighten awareness through a variety of channels initiated both from within and outside the security industry: blogging and social media, discussion forums, academic and governmental initiatives, community training schemes like the European Computer Driving Licence, inter-organizational community projects like AVIEN and AMTSO, Cyber Street and Cyber to the Citizen, and informational literature such as pamphlets, books and eBooks. We examine the advantages and pitfalls of education and training and the ethical complexities that arise when the security industry acknowledges its own responsibilities in terms of not only protecting but also informing the community, not only by self-promotion, but by finding ways to fit into a wider framework of community education and awareness.

How can we strike a balance when it comes to teaching of computer hygiene in an increasingly complex threatscape to audiences with very mixed experience and technical knowledge? Can user-friendly approaches to security be integrated into a formal, even national defensive framework?

The presentation will be divided into five main sections:

  • A brief history of security education
  • Channels of information (and misinformation)
  • Ethics, marketing, and information
  • Educational case studies
  • Educational and informational coalitions

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World
ESET Senior Research Fellow

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About David Harley

Computer Security Author/Editor; Independent Antimalware Researcher; CEO at Small Blue-Green World; Senior Research Fellow at ESET.
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