Recent study raises concerns about digital security skills of Finns – "Training is needed now"
According to the Finnish Digital Agency's recent survey on digital security, 75 % of Finnish citizens have not had digital security training in over a year or possibly ever. This is a cause for concern, as both cybercrimes and the use of digital services are on the rise. The topic is discussed during the Finnish Digital Security Week on 10–14 October.
A survey on digital security (Digiturvabarometri) was published on Monday 10 October 2022. The survey asked Finnish respondents how they experience the current state of digital security and related phenomena. 1,500 Finnish citizens, aged 18–79, responded to the survey. The responses show that the use of digital services is increasing in all age groups, and that digital services have an important role in the everyday life of 78 % of the respondents. The greatest perceived benefits of digital services are their speed and the ease in using them.
Trust in digital services is high in Finland. Almost all respondents (90 %) trust that their employers process their personal data and other information safely. A majority of the respondents also trust the security of official services (84 %) as well as the security of banking services, payment services and insurance services (82 %).
– Finns are a digitally positive people! We have firm support from our users, and our solutions are seen as useful in everyday life. This trust in public digital services is great news for the digitalisation of society, says Kimmo Rousku, Chief Senior Specialist at the Finnish Digital Agency.
People take digital security training too rarely or never
One important finding of the survey is that people train in digital security rarely or not at all. 75 % of the respondents reported that they had not participated in any digital security training in over a year or possibly ever. Furthermore, almost a third (30 %) of the respondents consider that the need to train in digital security matters does not actually apply to them.
– Successful cyber attacks and security violations become more probable when people trust services and use them more frequently without taking adequate digital security training. Fortunately, the attitude towards such training is positive in all age groups from young to old. Nevertheless, we need more up-to-date training designed for various target groups. We experts have the responsibility to offer training in digital security, but the users should recognise their own responsibility in seeking and receiving it, Rousku notes.
There is a clear need for digital security skills, as most of the respondents reported that they have been the target of an attempted scam or phishing via email (83 %) or telephone (64 %), and many have had such experiences with instant messaging applications (46 %). Respondents were concerned about the possibility of becoming victims of identity theft (57 %) or losing their money or important information in an attack or a scam (57 %). However, about 40 % of the respondents reported that digital security does not worry them or that they cannot name any particular concerns.
– Up-to-date skills are the best way to protect yourself from threats. It is not enough that organisations maintain and develop the technical protection of their systems. We all need to maintain our own ability to operate competently and safely online. Services and crimes are both developing rapidly, so we need to update our own skills all the time. For example, instructions from three years ago are now hopelessly outdated, Rousku explains.
The results of the digital security survey (Digiturvabarometri) was presented on the first day of the Digital Security Week on Monday 10 October 2022 at 9 am. Kimmo Rousku discussed the results with Christina Forsgård, Marianne Heikkilä, Harto Pönkä, Marko Leponen and Erja Kinnunen. The event was recorded. Watch the recording in Finnish.
The state of cyber security in Finland was discusseded during the Digital Security Week on Monday 10 October 2022 at 3 pm. Kimmo Rousku discuss the topic with Jarna Hartikainen, Mikko Hyppönen and Rauli Paananen. The online event was recorded. Watch the recording in Finnish.
The Finnish Digital Agency will make use of the survey’s observations in the Finnish Public Sector Digital Security Management Board (VAHTI) and the associated working groups as well as in the various projects of the JUDO project (Development Programme for Digital Security in Public Administration).
The survey was commissioned by the Finnish Digital Agency and conducted by Vastakaiku Oy. The data was collected through Bilendi Oy’s M3 Panel between 6 September and 12 September 2022. The target group were Finnish citizens aged 18–79. A total of 1,500 people responded to the survey. When weighted, it is a nationally representative sample by gender, age and residential area.
Kimmo Rousku, Chief Senior Specialist, Finnish Digital Agency, [email protected], tel. +358 295 535 120
Additional information on the Digital Security Week (in Finnish)