hat do “Wash Your Hands”,

“Smokey the Bear” and

“Loose Lips Sink Ships” all

have in common? They are all highly

successful campaigns that were

designed to change our behavior and

help us work together as a group in

order to stop an invisible threat. And

the same idea – the idea that each of us

is responsible for helping to create

cyber security at work – will create a

human firewall that can do as much as

technology to protect us from hacking.

It would be impossible to be alive in

today’s virtual world and not be aware

of the furor over cybersecurity. We are

constantly bombarded with warnings

about all the bad things that hackers

can do to us. But few of us are IT

experts and even fewer of us

understand that there is not a one-size-

fits-all approach to cybersecurity.

Think of cybersecurity like the flu shot.

Even if a small utility system has a

dedicated IT person (that is a nice

fantasy), the best he/she can do is put

some firewalls, email filters or

By Elizabeth Dietzmann, JD    

26

THE KANSAS LIFELINE

March 2017

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antivirus software in place that MIGHT

prevent SOME viruses or malware

from getting into the computers. That’s

basically a flu shot, right? Every year

viruses mutate and so the Centers for

Disease Control create a flu vaccine

that they hope will prevent the most

common viruses. But that shot is never

100 percent effective. The flu viruses

are always out there, constantly

changing. Just like computer viruses

created by hackers. But wait!. What is

the number one thing that EVERY

doctor tells us will stop the spread of

the flu? That’s right - washing your

hands. Because WE can play a huge

part in stopping the spread of viruses,

even if the vaccine can’t completely

prevent them.

Or think about it this way.

Remember the huge spy propaganda

campaign during WWII? There were

spy rings everywhere and the

government was actively tracking

them. But what was the “social media”

campaign of the time? “Loose Lips

Sink Ships”. Individuals were

encouraged to take responsibility for

their own actions and to report

suspicious behavior. Because

mentioning that you worked at a

munitions plant to a guy at a bar who

might be a German sympathizer was

far more likely to happen then having

an actual spy ring target you. So having

individuals be cautious was far more

effective than capturing huge spy rings.

And remember Smokey the Bear? Only

YOU can prevent forest fires! Well

guess what? Only YOU can prevent

phishing attacks. And you don’t need to

be an IT expert to do this.

Well guess what? Only

YOU can prevent phishing

attacks. And you don’t

need to be an IT expert to

do this.

Practicing Safe Cybersecurity, or,

How to Become a Human Firewall

Practicing Safe Cybersecurity, or,

How to Become a Human Firewall

GWA

316-550-6177

Cell  316-734-8567

VINCENTBRAD@HOTMAIL.COM

G

round 

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ater 

A

ssociates, 

I

nc.

EXPERTISE IN WATER & WELLS

BRAD C. VINCENT, P.G.

G

ROUND

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ATER

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EOLOGIST

109 W. 1st Avenue

P.O. Box 792

GODDARD, KANSAS 67052