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The Long Evolution of Security Awareness

December 19, 2022

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Security awareness has come a long way since the early days of human civilization. In the past, security awareness measures were often based on physical barriers, such as walls and gates, and relied on brute force to prevent intruders. Teaching people to be quiet at night during hunter-gatherer days are an example of primitive security awareness. These measures were effective to some extent, but were also limited in their effectiveness and often created a false sense of security.

And, about 100 years ago, security awareness was focused on things like turning lights off so German submarines off the US East Coast could not find targets at night.

As societies became more complex and interconnected, the need for more sophisticated security measures became evident. With the advent of the internet and the rise of cyber threats, security awareness has evolved to include a focus on digital security. This shift has brought with it a host of new challenges and opportunities.

One of the most significant developments in the evolution of security awareness has been the emergence of the concept of "information security." This term refers to the protection of sensitive information from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction. Information security has become increasingly important as organizations and individuals increasingly rely on digital technologies to store and transmit sensitive information.

Another key development in the evolution of security awareness has been the recognition of the need for a holistic approach to security. This approach recognizes that security is not just a matter of physical barriers and guards, but also involves a range of other factors, such as organizational culture, risk management, and training. A holistic approach to security requires organizations to consider all these factors and to develop strategies and practices that address the full range of security risks.

The evolution of security awareness has also brought with it a greater focus on ongoing education and training. In the past, security measures were often based on a "lock and key" approach, with the assumption that people would automatically know how to use security measures properly. Today, however, organizations recognize the need to provide employees with the knowledge and skills they need to understand and manage security risks. This includes training on a range of topics, such as how to identify and report potential security threats, how to protect sensitive information, and how to use security tools and technologies effectively.

The evolution of security awareness has been driven by a number of factors, including the rise of cyber threats, the recognition of the need for a holistic approach to security, and the importance of education and training. These developments have helped to make security more effective and more accessible, and have helped organizations and individuals to better protect themselves against a range of security risks.

Now, as the world has become interconnected, people can connect to sensitive information, attacks can connect with victims from anywhere on the planet, and the world of security awareness has expanded to include all aspects of our lives. This mandates a fundamentally different approach to security awareness, making it an integrated part of how we work, no matter where we work or the tools we use to get work done (SaaS).

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