Summary of E Kritzinger et al.s “Home User Security- from Thick Security-oriented Home Users to Thin Security- oriented Home Users”

To: Prof. Ellis
From: Matthew Rupchand
Date: 2/10/2021
Subject: 500-Word Summary of Article About the Lack of Cyber Security

In the article “Home User Security- from Thick Security-oriented Home Users to Thin Security- oriented Home Users” by E Kritzinger and Basie von Solms, they bring up the issue of the lack of cybersecurity awareness with the growth of technology for everyday life.  According to Krizinger and Solms, the technology trend has moved towards mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Krizinger and Solms studied how cybersecurity in growing digital areas such as Africa could affect users that are unaware of all the threats that the internet can put upon them. Krizinger describes the situation in Africa that has seen an increase in technology as he describes them as “Home Users”. “Home Users” aren’t aware of the risk involved with access to the internet. They describe “Home Users” as high-value targets for cybercrime because of the lack of knowledge they possess of cybersecurity that they can and should use to protect themselves. With the growing number of computers and smartphones in homes, Krizinger & Solms consider personal and home computers to be considered as “weaker links” rather than corporate use computers because of the lack of certain security protocols. An example of a cybersecurity breakdown is Africa  “Millions of Africans are using mobile phones to pay bills, move around cash and buy basic everyday items… Africa has the fastest growing mobile phone arment in the world” (Kritzinger, 2013, pg. 340). In order to increase their security presence, we need to create computer networks that are “out of the box” says Krizinger. Citizens in Africa have skipped a generation of technology which results in them not having the knowledge to become aware of the risk that comes with technology. Krizinger states in the article that “Home users” are only aware of technical issues such as connection to the internet not issues with information being leaked. The article goes into depth about a three-step approach that can help users protect themselves from threats. Regular house computers security is at the hands of their user which Krizinger describes them as “thick security oriented users”(Kritzinger, 2013, pg. 342). The prone problems that these users are exposed to which are forgotten to download patches/updates, do not set up security settings correctly, do not keep up to date with new security risk, allow software licenses to expire, incorrect security protection, lack of cybersecurity awareness, weak passwords, and do not update their anti-virus program regularly. Lack of cybersecurity by home users can also create problems for their government. Krizinger states “Their computers can be used as platforms to launch an attack on a country’s critical information structures, a situation that could prove strategically damaging to any country”(Kritzinger, 2013, pg. 342). So to prevent this and maintain a well-balanced cybersecurity system for home users would be to dedicate the responsibility to third-party companies that will create a secure connection between the home user and the internet. Also, initiatives such as using the Australian ISP to help create more security for users will benefit them however for more extensive security coverage like malware, virus identification, and breaches the ISPs will require the ISP to take more responsibility. Another step that users could take to improve their security and connection is learning and implementing strategies that the ISP will use to help protect them and how it does it. It does work by updating anti-virus software, updating new software patches, scanning computers for viruses frequently, and stopping spam. ISPs can also assist in cybersecurity by referring users to portals that can help increase knowledge of how to use these security programs. However, the user must always keep up their knowledge of cybersecurity to ensure the most out of their security programs and protocols. Although ISPs can help increase cybersecurity in your home it will all depend on the user and how they go on with the information they receive. Simon Hackett (manager of Adelaide ISP) states “ISPs are not the gatekeepers and are not in a position legally or ethically to make decisions for users”(Hackett, 2013, pg. 343). This means that even though the ISPs can help influence decisions upon user they are not legally available to take the full decisions for them. ISPs are not able to control your desire to protect your internet activities and how much users are willing to pay for their security software. The article brings together ways that can help users improve cybersecurity for uses as they referred to it as “intermediate security-oriented home user”(Kritzinger, 2013, pg. 343) that will help users to protect their connection to the internet. The main point of this article is to bring to light how home user security can affect them with security protocols in place with initiatives and strategies to provide guidelines for services to assist in cybersecurity. 

E Kritzinger., & Basie von Solms. (2013). IEEE Xplore: Home User Security- from Thick Security-oriented Home Users to Thin Security- oriented Home Users, pp. 340-345.

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