Human Factors in Cybersecurity

Human Factors in Cybersecurity

Have you ever considered the impact of Human Factors in Cybersecurity on your organization’s cybersecurity? It might surprise you to learn that your employees, the human element, can pose the most significant threat to your organization’s IT security. In fact, they are often the primary cause of concern for 90-95% of IT leaders.

If you have close relationships with your staff, realizing this can feel like finding out that Santa isn’t real all over again. However, it is an unfortunate reality that must be addressed. Understanding the role of Human Factors in Cybersecurity is crucial for developing effective strategies to mitigate these risks and enhance overall security posture.

Human Factor in Cybersecurity

So, by the time you have finished reading this, you will be aware of just how irresponsible humans can be, especially in the context of employees role in cybersecurity and insider risk management. Of course, some are not just irresponsible and act deliberately (insider threats). According to a 2017 Kaspersky report, around 5% of all cyber security attacks were carried out by internal staff with malicious intent, whereas 23% were due to careless/uninformed employees (internal threats). But surely you have hired people who you believe are responsible and experienced at their job? Well, I should hope so, but when it comes to cybersecurity, a lot of people are uneducated on the issue, emphasizing the importance of educating employees about Human Factors in Cybersecurity.

Careless or Uninformed Staff

This may be the result of a lack of training, or by copious amounts of pages containing regulations and rules concerning cybersecurity that a) your employees do not want to read and b) if they do, it is too technical to actually comprehend. This lack of knowledge can cause a great deal of damage to your organization. Just under half of cybersecurity attacks in 2016 were contributed to by careless/uninformed staff. Additionally, 53% of ransomware attacks were also due to contributions by careless/uninformed staff.

But carelessness is not your only problem. Those pages and pages of regulation I mentioned? This might be the reason your organization is being attacked. A paradox at first glance, but overwhelming staff with regulation can scare them into hiding incidents due to fear of being reprimanded. 40% of businesses around the world have employees which hide an incident when it happens meaning you won’t know about it until you need to know about it and, by then, it might be too late.

Human Factors in Cybersecurity and BYOD Policy

But no, you tell yourself, you are a cool boss who is relaxed and doesn’t overwhelm your employees. In fact, you’re pretty lax and even allow them to use their own devices (BYOD Security Risks). Rooky error. This is a key vulnerability within your organization, highlighting the significance of Human Factors in Cybersecurity. Numerous cybersecurity incidents occur because of human factors and Bring Your Own Device implementation. For instance, the lack of control on your employees’ devices, lost devices, sharing company data and information and the list goes on (Employees Role in CyberSecurity). Sure, allowing your employees to use their own devices might be appealing as it cuts costs for you, but in the long run the cost of data breaches might be much more than just suppling the organization with devices.

Increasing Security Policy Enforcement

So how can you combat this? You can’t fix someone’s brain to be less careless. Ah if only we could…the world would be a better place. But you can increase cybersecurity policy enforcement, particularly considering the impact of Human Factors in Cybersecurity. With only 44% of companies having their employees following their security policies properly. There needs to be action taken to increase this number. Train, train, train and train again.

Your employees probably don’t even know the extent of the damage they can do to your organization. Let them know just how scary they can be! But because we can’t always rely on other people, an alternative, which is favored by 43% of businesses, is to use more sophisticated IT cybersecurity software. Yes, another hole in your wallet. But at least you can put a price on it. What is the price of your security being breached? That’s right, you can never know until it happens, so it’s probably better to prevent it than to mitigate it.

Sepio Hardware Access Control

Sepio’s HAC-1 Hardware Access Control provides a solution to this problem, considering the impact of human factors in cybersecurity. Sepio capabilities have resulted in a real-life use case where a client used the software to find a loophole to the issue at hand. Sepio provides organizations with complete visibility of all hardware assets within their infrastructure, including remote devices. In doing so, Sepio uses Physical Layer visibility (Physical Layer of the OSI Model) fingerprinting technology and Machine Learning to calculate a digital fingerprint from the electrical characteristics of all devices and compares them against known vulnerable and Rogue Devices. Additionally, the solution allows the system administrator to define a strict, granular policies, set of rules for the system to enforce.

When a device breaches the pre-set policy, Sepio automatically instigates a mitigation process that instantly blocks unapproved, or Rogue hardware, provided the software is in ARM mode (Asset Risk Management (ARM)) . This is where the loophole comes in. With these administrative benefits, our client blocked all peripherals by setting the solution in ARM mode for the specific employee’s, or should we say ex-employee’s, device. Doing so rendered the machine useless. So whether they were a malicious actor or just a careless one, there were zero risks of a hardware attack originating from their device.

See every known and shadow asset. Prioritize and mitigate risks.
Talk to an expert. It will help you understand how to use Sepio’s patented technology to gain control of your asset risks.

July 21st, 2020