Interview with Cybersecurity Collaborative’s Kathie Miley

Understanding how your online actions impact your privacy, and how suppliers store and use your information has got to be a priority for people.

Kathie Miley

Today we bring you the interview with Cybersecurity Collaborative’s Chief Experience Officer – Kathie Miley. She has 30 years of experience in IT and cybersecurity, and has some solid advice to share to help all of us stay on top of our data. Here’s what Kathie had to say…

Can you shortly introduce yourself?

My name is Kathie Miley, I am Chief Experience Officer with the Cybersecurity Collaborative, a CyberRisk Alliance company. I currently run the operations and delivery of our services to our CISO members including expert guidance, best practice and procedure documents, Task Force projects and SWAT Team responses for CISOs with urgent needs. I have 30 years of experience in IT and cybersecurity, hold multiple security and privacy certifications, and have co-authored the Security & IT Leaders Handbook.

What do you see as the main challenges for our privacy today?

Other than companies not handling the data they possess properly, the newest generation entering the workforce has grown up with social media as a core function in their lives but unfortunately don’t understand the risks and resultant impact of posting personal details in the variety of social platforms they use. However, the lack of awareness isn’t limited to the millennial generation but tends to be an epidemic in the world. Schools don’t do a good job preparing students, and since there is a global lack of awareness – parents are also not doing a great job of enforcing the need for privacy.

What can we as individuals do about it?

Learning is the only solution for individuals. Understanding how your online actions impact your privacy, and how suppliers (doctors, schools, counties, etc.) store and use your information has got to be a priority for people. We cannot rely on others to protect us; it won’t happen as you can see with all the breaches taking place and companies selling your information for profit.

Can VPNs help? Do you use one?

I personally use a VPN for my online protection. VPNs are a great way to protect against hackers trying to intercept data and access your computer.

What do you do to protect your personal information?

I try to keep up with the risks and threat vectors so I know how to protect myself. Beyond the personal VPN, when I give my personal information to a third-party for example, I ask them what they are doing with it. Think about it when you enter a building to visit someone and they ask for your driver’s license, then scan it or make a copy. What in the world do they need that for? What do they do with it? Where do they store it? What happens when I leave, do they destroy it? How do they destroy it? Who else has access to my information then?

Do you have some other advice for our readers so they could, at least partially, regain their privacy?

Learn as much as possible about the risks of allowing others access to your personal information, especially your medical records. Understand how the hackers steal it and what they do with it, and with that information – you can make educated decisions on what you do with your information and who you allow to see/access it. And for parents, try to have your kids follow the “once posted on the internet, it is forever on the internet”. I tell my kids if they don’t want something to show up on the news wire, don’t post it. It may haunt you for decades to come.