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Dogs to have their day in mobile security campaign

Warwick Ashford

The UK national Cyber Security Challenge has announced the winner of its Can you talk security? competition devised by BT and Get Safe Online.

Winner Leo Pickford, an IT manager at a design company, could soon see his bring-your-own-device (BYOD) dogs appearing on posters and educational material in offices across the UK.

Cyber Security Challenge UK runs a series of national competitions aimed at attracting talented people into the profession and informing them about cyber security careers and training.

In its third year of competitions, Can you talk security? is the challenge’s first to test competitors’ ability to communicate good security practice to others.

The competition was launched in April to identify people with the creative communication skills currently in high demand by the cyber security profession.

Entrants were asked to design a nationwide awareness campaign to help keep small businesses in the UK safe from cyber crime.

The winning entry uses used mischievous dogs as a metaphor for the security implications surrounding the growing culture of employees ignoring the security issues of using their own, unauthorised and often unsecured mobile devices at work.

“The dogs have good intentions, but there is an element of unruliness to them and they are neither completely controllable nor uncontrollable. This makes them a good metaphor for the challenges surrounding BYOD,” said Leo Pickford.

In the campaign, users are encouraged to manage the dangers of BYOD, represented by the dogs, through a series of tips and good security practice advice.

“I focused on BYOD because it is a really important staff education issue for my company where there is increasing demand from our design teams for more flexibility in their use of IT,” said Pickford, who studied for a degree in design, communications and advertising before working in IT.

Bob Nowill, director of cyber and information assurance at BT security, said there is a need to educate the wider population on the role they need to play in securing our future.

“It only needs one brilliant idea to resonate with people across the country to make a huge difference to their own security and the UK as a whole,” he said.

Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online said that while general awareness is high about the need to prevent cyber crime and the billions of pounds it costs the UK economy, a low level of understanding of good security practices, especially in the office, is a major challenge.

“What we liked about Leo’s approach is that he took one of the key security issues that affects him in his working environment and tackled it in a way that he believed would speak best to his colleagues,” he said.

Pickford will work with creative digital professionals and marketing experts to turn his idea into a nationwide campaign to be used in the new Get Safe Online for Business offering.


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