Cy­ber se­cu­rity

Woman & Home - - Influential Women -

“We all have a role to play in cy­ber se­cu­rity, and hav­ing dif­fer­ent, com­pli­cated pass­words is key”

CHAR­LIE TIMBLIN, 42, is the se­nior di­rec­tor of cy­ber and tech­nol­ogy risk at royal bank of canada (rbc). she is also the co-founder of the women’s se­cu­rity so­ci­ety, a net­work for women work­ing in the se­cu­rity sec­tor. she lives in ep­som, sur­rey, with her hus­band, matt, who also works in se­cu­rity, and their nine-year-old daugh­ter anna.

My Job at the bank is to help safe­guard the se­cu­rity of our sys­tems and the con­fi­den­tial­ity of our in­for­ma­tion. over the course of my ca­reer, as the world has be­come more dig­i­tally in­te­grated, i’ve seen cy­ber crim­i­nals also be­come more so­phis­ti­cated in their ap­proach. i be­lieve that in the next decade, so much more of our lives will be au­to­mated. for in­stance, every­one’s talk­ing about the “con­nected home” – where you can ac­ti­vate lights re­motely, the oven re­motely, your fridge can even or­der food when it “knows”

you have run out of some­thing. although tech­nol­ogy is of­ten de­vel­oped with func­tion­al­ity in mind, it may not al­ways have the nec­es­sary se­cu­rity safe­guards in­cluded. so when con­sumers pur­chase items – such as a driver­less car or even a smart cooker – they need to be aware that se­cu­rity is not al­ways em­bed­ded within the prod­uct. I be­lieve cy­ber se­cu­rity is a core com­po­nent of a tech­nol­ogy-im­mer­sive fu­ture. cy­ber se­cu­rity is a topic that is so dy­namic that there is a need to learn al­most minute by minute, so i find be­ing in a role like mine both very stim­u­lat­ing and chal­leng­ing. i am for­tu­nate to work with very smart peo­ple, all spe­cial­is­ing in dif­fer­ent ar­eas of cy­ber se­cu­rity, which cer­tainly helps me stay cur­rent on the changes and the trends. ul­ti­mately, cy­ber se­cu­rity is every­one’s busi­ness within an or­gan­i­sa­tion, so it’s a true team ef­fort.

The dis­rup­tion caused to the nhs in may might have been the first time many peo­ple had heard of a cy­ber at­tack – and cer­tainly one that might have af­fected them. the type of ma­li­cious soft­ware that helped to per­pet­u­ate this at­tack is be­com­ing more ac­ces­si­ble to crim­i­nals and there­fore more widely used. as a re­sult, we all need to recog­nise cy­ber se­cu­rity as be­ing an im­por­tant as­pect of ev­ery­day life.

There are some ba­sic im­prove­ments you can make straight away to help pro­tect your in­for­ma­tion. i un­der­stand how cum­ber­some it is to man­age mul­ti­ple, dif­fer­ent and com­plex pass­words, but it re­ally is nec­es­sary. use a pass­word man­ager such as last­pass or dash­lane to re­mem­ber them. writ­ing them on post-it notes is not rec­om­mended! Also, un­der­stand – and change – all your de­fault pass­words. th­ese are the pass­words that you will ini­tially re­ceive from the man­u­fac­turer for your new home wi-fi for ex­am­ple, or any shiny, new tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts. chang­ing them is easy and makes the de­vice more se­cure, but un­for­tu­nately many peo­ple don’t do this.

There are not enough women in

cy­ber se­cu­rity. that’s one of the rea­sons i started the women’s se­cu­rity so­ci­ety – i wanted to give women an op­por­tu­nity to net­work and help each other in a fun en­vi­ron­ment. the new tech­nol­ogy-en­abled world means work­ing lo­ca­tions and hours are now far more flex­i­ble. re­turn­ing-to-work mums are a wealth of un­tapped tal­ent if given suf­fi­cient flex­i­bil­ity.

My hobby is some­thing you wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily as­so­ciate with a techie: up­cy­cling! do­ing some­thing cre­ative helps my brain switch off.

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