Back to Basics: Towards Building Societal Resilience Against a Cyber Pandemic

Stavrou, Eliana orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4040-4942 (2020) Back to Basics: Towards Building Societal Resilience Against a Cyber Pandemic. Journal on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (JSCI), 18 (7). pp. 73-80.

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Cybersecurity experts have long been discussing the potential of a cyber pandemic leading to a massive disruption of ICT operations with a devastating societal impact. Even though society has not faced yet the full potential of a cyber pandemic, the recent COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated how a cyber pandemic can look like at its initial stages. Unfortunately, citizens proofed to be unprepared to handle the COVID-19 threat landscape and how fast cyber-attacks escalated at a global scale targeting individuals, corporations, and governments, all at once. This clearly demonstrates that society, at a global scale, is not adequately prepared to defend against a cyber pandemic, despite all the efforts of the cybersecurity community. Cybersecurity awareness and training efforts have been delivered as part of a national or corporate cybersecurity strategy, aiming to promote a cyber hygiene and enhance protection against cyber-attacks on an individual, a corporate, or a national level. The current level of citizens’ cybersecurity awareness is not yet the desired and actions need to be taken to upscale it. Thus, it is time to take a step back to identify what is missing from current awareness efforts and reconsider how people learn. This knowledge can drive the redesign of the national and corporate cybersecurity awareness activities, effectively building citizens’ cyber skills and knowledge, and leading to the development of robust cyber resilient societies, capable of defending and withstanding a future cyber pandemic.

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