A training seminar, organised by Bishop Paul Colton for clergy and lay people in Cork, Cloyne and Ross , entitled Cybersecurity for the Bewildered: How to keep your computers safe, your data secure and private information out of sight, attacted a lot of interest last week.
A group of nearly 50 people signed up and took part in the online training session delivered by Dr Simon Woodworth who lectures in Business Information Systems at University College, Cork. Dr Woodworth who is a parishioner of Carrigaline, County Cork serves also on Diocesan Synod, on Diocesan Council and is training to be a lay reader. His research interests are in Enterprise Systems, Health informatics, MobileComputing and Data Analytics; and he is Director of the Health Information Systems Research Centre. Previously, Simon worked in the telecoms industry for 15 years with Ericsson and Motorola.
In the wake of the recent HSE Ransomware attack Simon has been turned to by the media for public comment and, in spite of being so busy, made the offer to Bishop Colton that he would deliver a training session in the Diocese. Simon has been seen on television nationally and internationally and quoted in print media around the world about recent cybersecurity events in Ireland, including in the Wall Street Journal.
During the 90 minute training session the following topics were covered: why should you be concerned? What’s an antivirus and why should I have it? Hep! My laptop’s been stolen! Encryption. Backups. Keeping private data private. Using and abusing cloud services. Is your parish website secure? Who has access to your WiFi. Securing your home and church networks.
A measure of the interest was, not only the attendance, but also the busy question and answer session which followed. Simon helpfully divided his talk into two halves: on one hand, the easy bits and things you must do; and, on the other, an accessible introduction to the more ‘techie’ stuff. So there was something for every level of computer user.
Thanking Simon, Bishop Paul Colton said:
All of us who took part were both fascinated and challenged. There are very real issues here for all computer users. Having recently been impersonated online myself, and having had to report the matter to An Garda Síochána, I was acutely aware of my own deficit of knowledge and experience in this area.
I think all of us who took part left the training seminar with things to check on, to do and to put in place. Thank you, Simon.