Users Must Take Stronger Role in Information Security
At a roundtable discussion, security pros from Microsoft, Symantec, McAfee and other companies weighed the role of consumers, vendors and online businesses in securing the Internet.During the past few years, the threat of data being bought, stolen and traded on the Internet has oozed deeper into the consciousness of many Web users. But unpatched computers, out-of-date applications and poor Web surfing practices beg the question of whether users need to take more responsibility for their online safety. At a June 28 roundtable discussion organized by the National Cyber Security Alliance, security experts from Lockheed Martin, McAfee, Microsoft and other companies discussed the balance between user and corporate accountability in the digital world. Roland Cloutier, chief security officer at business outsourcing solution provider ADP, said a lack of consumer education has led to more unsecure machines, and improving the situation will require a greater understanding by users of the role they need to play.
Many users have a value system online that stresses openness and information sharing, opined Dave Marcus, security research and communications manager for McAfee Avert Labs. However, those same users are often not aware of the interconnectivity of Web 2.0 technologies and websites, and just how much their data is shared, he said.