Cybersecurity Starts With Your Employees
…Because They’ll always be your biggest threat.
An article review.
With cybercrime incidents almost perpetually in the headlines with damages often in the hundreds of millions of dollars, it seems natural that both corporations and governments are spending a lot on developing and implementing new security tools to try and keep private data private. The only problem with that–as those of you who have been following our recent posts will know–is that all this new technology is still at the mercy of people.
This human threat was the number one trend from this year’s installment of Dan’s Magnificent Seven article, and it’s also the focus of a recent article from the Harvard Business Review submitted by our own Matt Jolley. While it may seem like overkill dedicating multiple articles to this subject, it’s hard to argue with some of the points brought up in the recent article, such as a study by IBM that included ‘human error’ as a factor in over 95 percent of security incidents in 2014. More recently, the gargantuan Equifax data breach appears to have been the fault of a single IT employee who failed to apply security patches in a timely manor.
While it is important to work on developing and implementing new technologies to stay one step ahead of the bad guys, the article suggests an equal amount of effort go towards more psychological engineering: subtle things to nudge employees in the right direction such as setting strong default options and setting calendar appointments to implement software updates.
Ultimately, security is a human problem–technology is simply a tool, one used by both the good and bad guys to achieve their goals, and if the technology isn’t focused on people and their behaviors it will always be prone to exploitation.
Original article by Alex Blau writing for the Harvard Business Review.