Education. Education. Education

No, I’m not referring to one of Labour’s winning manifesto policies of the 1997 UK general election, in this case, I’m talking about educating end users about ICT security.

What lead me to write this article was an interesting issue I recently came across. I say issue, it was more of a surprise. A pleasant one I may add…

Think before you click!


In a typical world, most computers users are click happy. See an advert… click, new message pops up on screen… click, new email comes through… click!

In the brief pauses between the clicking of clicks, the computer user spends very little time, if any, to review what is actually being clicked on…

So, it came as a surprise (after many months and years of what I thought was a seemingly fruitless effort in trying to educate people), out of the blue, one of our customers emailed me to notify me that they had received a suspicious email, and could I investigate…

Sure enough, not only had the suspicious email happily passed across no less than four different AV & Malware venders to reach the users mailbox, none of the 56 vendors from Virus Total detected an issue either!

Of course, being highly suspicious, I sent the sample to one of our AV providers, an hour later they responded stating the attachment was in fact infected with a brand new virus: Halifax_Reactivation.pdf – PDF/Phishing.Agent.AV trojan and would be added to the next signature, which rolled out a few hours later.

So in the end, rather than a fruitless effort to make users aware of the risks; in this case at least, education proved itself to be above all else, a vital first defence against infection and potentially prevented major damaged to the business (imagine if that virus happened to be a new breed of Cryptolocker!).

Oh, and of course, that particular user was publicly thanked for bringing the problem to our attention, followed up with information from our AV vender…


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