At its most recent Boston Global Forum symposium at Harvard University, political, military and academic leaders from the United States, Vietnam and Japan called for the establishment of a “Global Citizenship Education in Cyber Civil Defense” program to help stem the rising tide of internet hacking, cybercrime and other internet misdeeds.
While malware, DDoS and ransomware get all the press attention, government and other experts at the session overwhelmingly agreed that the majority of successful email hacks and cyber theft, does not result from sophisticated coding. Rather the hackers depend on missteps by individual internet users. Folks seem unable to resist clicking on seemingly friendly links and providing passwords, or personal and banking information.
The Global Citizen Education in Cyber Civil Defense is expected to ward off these intrusions through greater awareness, knowledge of such cyber perils, and personal involvement.
Professor Nguyen Duc Hoa, president of Dalat University, Vietnam and Governor Michael Dukakis, BGF co-founder and Chairman, signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the event on behalf of the university and the BGF pledging support for the Global Citizenship Education Network including worldwide adoption of the Ethical Code of Conduct for Cyber Peace and Security, that was developed by Boston Global Forum last year.
Program goals include urging governments worldwide to support the Global Citizenship Education Network and to establish Global Citizen Leadership Programs. Additionally, the program seeks support from social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter as well as search engine giant Google. Organizers are also looking to work with software companies to develop an app that will collect the achievements of global citizens in cyberspace, create scorecards and establish rankings similar to those used by the Olympics.
“Every individual needs to become more savvy about the cyber risks they face in their daily lives,” said Joseph Santamaria, CIO of PSE&G, the 11th largest power utility in the US. He called for better education of all internet users as well as application developers, supply chain participants, and industrial control operators about the specific risks they face.
Speaking via prerecorded video, Santamaria said everyone who logs onto the Internet is susceptible to phishing attacks—the largest cyber risk we all face today. Among professionals, such as application developers, cybersecurity education falls short. He noted that according to IEEE few computer science programs actually teach their students secure coding methods.
The BGF has already created a framework to confront the growing menace of cybercrime, cyber terrorism, and the surge of hacking by nation states, zealots and organized crime. In addition to Vietnam, leaders in Japan have endorsed the Global Citizen Education effort as well.
At the meeting, Tuan Nguyen, Nguyen Anh Tuan, CEO of BGF, said, “Global Citizenship Education in cyber defense is essential to assure global cyber peace and security. These are growing concerns for every nation, organization, business and individual because of the unlimited damage such attacks inflict on our national security, the economy, personal privacy and freedom.”
At the meeting The Boston Global Forum outlined the specifics of a number of components to the program, among them: The Global Citizenship Education in the Cyber Civil Defense initiative to include the ECCC version 2.0, Global Citizen Number (GCN), Global Citizen Scorecard (GCS), and the Global Citizenship Education Network. All of which are new solutions to enhancing cybersecurity.
The Boston Global Forum works for the betterment of society by fostering global peace and security and has created a framework to reduce tensions in the South China Sea, improved working conditions in the third-world nation factories that produce goods for the global market, and has established a global the Ethics Code of Conduct for Cyber Peace and Security.