CYBERSECURITY LITERACY: FOUNDATION OF DIGITAL COMMONS
Back in 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres first proposed to develop a Global Digital Compact concept, which is expected to “outline shared principles for an open, free and secure digital future for all”.
In its input to the Global Digital Compact, Kaspersky focused on the importance of cyber capacity building, since universally affordable information technology not only provides new opportunities for billions of people, but also entails growing cybersecurity threats. One of the best ways to mitigate these risks is to increase the level of cybersecurity awareness among users throughout the world.
Kaspersky’s contribution to the Global Digital Compact is based on its vast experience and expertise in promoting cybersecurity literacy worldwide, and includes projects involving multilateral cooperation. Our ultimate goal is to provide global access to high-quality IT and cybersecurity courses to all interested individuals and organizations.
The input includes a set of core principles that determine successful cyber capacity building.
#1. Raising the Level of Cybersecurity Literacy
While access to information technology provides plenty of opportunities, it also presents substantial threats, which are usually not easy to identify by unprepared users. In this regard, a high-quality affordable cybersecurity awareness program is essential, as it can help people worldwide enjoy the digital realm with an awareness of its dangers, enabling them to avoid the risks posed by the internet.
#2. Promoting Digital Inclusivity
Everyone, regardless of their gender, age, or ethnicity, should be able to participate in and benefit from the digital economy. Consequently, both governmental and non-governmental (universities, businesses, etc.) stakeholders should aim their cyber capacity building initiatives to bridge the digital gap and provide equal opportunities in cyberspace for all.
#3. Building a Skilled Workforce
Effective cybersecurity requires thousands of highly qualified professionals. As a result, growing investments are needed in comprehensive training programs in cybersecurity, ethical hacking and digital forensics. The focus should be on state-supported educational initiatives – especially in developing countries – in order to bridge the dangerous gap between the level of digitalization and the number of skilled cybersecurity professionals in the market.
#4. Cyber Hygiene for Everyone: As digital technologies constitute an important part of everyday life, cyber skills become essential not just for IT specialists, but for everybody. In this regard, cybersecurity awareness should be an integral part of school and university education, as well as in the workplace in the form of training courses. Involvement in developing and promoting educational programs should be an intrinsic component of the social responsibility of ICT vendors and technological leaders.
#5. Enhancing International Cooperation: While providing access to the digital world, governments as well as non-state actors (including ICT vendors) should bear in mind the importance of cybersecurity. And, as cyberthreats are of a global nature, broad international cooperation under an established framework is required that will involve all interested parties, including private sector.
#6. Fostering Public-Private Partnerships: Cooperation between the public and private sectors allows for the pooling of resources, expertise, and technology to strengthen cyber capacity and counter cyber threats.
Cybersecurity education and raising public awareness of basic rules of staying safe online should be a priority for every organization that contributes to the creation of the digital world. In order to reach these objectives, Kaspersky is putting a great deal of effort into a wide range of projects. Here are just a few of them:
It is worth mentioning that Kaspersky is not going to confine its participation in the Global Digital Compact to simply submitting written input. The company is currently getting ready for participation in online in public sessions held by the UN to have an opportunity to share its vision of global digital development with national governments, the corporate sector and civil society. And, as the initiative moves on, Kaspersky stands ready to contribute to the global efforts to create a safe and secure digital future for all.