Head in the sand about Cyber Security? Don’t go it alone….

With the impending implementation date of GDPR, barely a day goes by without a handy checklist or blog post landing in my inbox.  However, close on its heels seems to be Cyber Security or perhaps more accurately, stories of breaches and where it all goes wrong.

It would be difficult to claim complete ignorance that these are important subjects, but the volume of available information can seem quite overwhelming and there’s no shortage of scaremongering stories to make a “head in the sand” approach seem rather appealing.  As in most areas, I know that’s rarely a helpful strategy.

So, I was pleased last week to attend a Cyber Security-focused Net Squared London meetup.  (This  never fails to be a useful meetup to attend – check it out if you haven’t been).  My interest on this occasion was on two fronts, both in terms of the implications for my own sole trader business and in order that I can be better informed about a topic that I know is a concern for the organisations I work with.

Some really helpful technical content and top tips were shared by Phil Anthony of Coop Sys and Nick Denning of Cysure with the overarching and reassuring message that taking a proportionate, risk based approach and using simple tools such as those available on the Cyber Essentials site are a great start, that make a significant difference.

I’m assured that a full rundown of the content and resources shared is to follow in Charity Digital News, so I won’t pre-empt that as I’m sure it will be more complete than my scribbled notes.  However, for me, beyond the undoubtedly helpful curation of resources, events such as this  reinforce my enthusiasm for peer learning, even for topics that can at first appear complex and a bit daunting.

Attending an informal session such as a meetup not only provides a “safe” forum to ask questions and share experiences, good and bad, but also offers a feeling of support, particularly important when working alone or in small teams.  More than this, I can safely say that I would have found a list of other things to do in preference to spending 2-3 hours at home reading about Cyber Security online on a Wednesday evening.  Adding a social element made even this topic an enjoyable one to explore.

An added bonus was learning about host airbnb’s growing opportunities for Social Impact Experiences so I left with some holiday planning ideas too!

Clearly, developing knowledge and implementing measures relating to GDPR are not one-off exercises and I can see a clear benefit in continuing peer support around these subjects and many others so I’ll be exploring further what this might mean in practice.

How about you?  If it’s time to get your head out of the sand regarding Cyber Security or GDPR, could connecting with peers be a way to make it seem more manageable?  Are you signed up to an event that you could share with others?  Or are you looking for one in your area, or on a particular topic?  Let’s start a conversation – there’s no need to go it alone!

If you’re keen to find a safe space to learn and test tools and techniques for working with groups, you might be interested in Together Tools meetup– I’d love you to join us.

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