Government and Industry Come Together to Tackle the Growing Issue of internet Security

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD today launched the makeITsecure campaign. The campaign, which is led by a unique public/private taskforce, today unveiled new areas of risk to Irish internet users. The taskforce also talked through some of the statistics that have been uncovered which has led to the roll out of another makeITsecure campaign to bring the issue of internet security back on the agenda for business users and consumers.

The aim of this year’s campaign is to specifically address and educate people about security issues that they face online on a day to day basis such as online banking, emails, chat rooms and social networking sites.

Research conducted by the private sector taskforce members is one of the key reasons that the group has come together to run the fourth makeITsecure campaign. The recent Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 17, highlighted that there were 5.5 billion malicious attacks in 2011, an increase of 81% over the previous year. The same report also showed that approximately 1 in every 298 emails are phishing attacks, and approximately 1 in 239 emails are affected by viruses.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Rabbitte said, “It is important that these kinds of statistics don’t deter people from using computers or surfing the Internet as these are now invaluable tools for business, leisure, education and communication. The aim of the makeITsecure campaign is to ensure that all ICT users are encouraged to continue to use the technology, but to ensure that when doing so, they are taking the precautions to protect themselves especially when online.

“As the Internet becomes ever more ubiquitous in Ireland, users have the opportunity now to access the educational and social benefits it offers from wherever they are through the range of mobile devices now available out there. It is for this reason that makeITsecure taskforce has come together for the fourth time to ensure that the campaign will have a lasting effect in terms of helping internet users in Ireland to take advantage of all that the internet has to offer while ensuring that they have the necessary knowledge and information to protect themselves online,” Minister Rabbitte said.

Since the last makeITsecure campaign a key trend which has emerged as a security risk for internet users is the increased access people have to the internet. The use of smartphone devices and access people have through their computers now enables people to work, pay bills, socialize online and share information with their friends and colleagues. Research undertaken by the Irish Banking Federation (IBF) and the the Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO) shows that there are 3 million online banking accounts in Ireland. This is one example of increased use of the internet to manage everyday tasks. A key focus for this year’s makeITsecure campaign is to highlight safe usage of mobile devices.

The makeITsecure campaign, which is being held for the fourth time, is being run by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in the Republic of Ireland. The private sector is represented by Symantec, Irish Banking Federation, Microsoft, BT Ireland, Three, 02, Vodafone, eircom and Comreg.

 

All details of the campaign initiatives and activities are available at www.makeitsecure.org.

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