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Reduce Human Error for IT Security

Loss of situational awareness heightens the risk for cyber breaches.

Complacency is one of several warning signs of the loss of situational awareness. It not only compounds risk but also opens the door to cyber breaches and malicious attacks in the future.

What’s also worrying is the apparent lack of concern surrounding cyber incidents — be it data loss or business interruption from factors such as system malfunction, technical faults, or human error to cyber threats like ransomware or malicious parties disrupting operations.

A report found that most organizations assume it will never experience a cyber-incident as they believe a blanket approach to disallowing user’s access to social networking sites will stop potential virus outbreaks. On the other hand some organizations buy a million dollar security solution, and expect the high price tag to protect them. Businesses become complacent once a security product is installed although in most cases it has been human error and not technology that’s the problem.

As a case study, a security expert was entrusted to conduct ‘penetration tests’ at a national bank in Australia. So this person put on a Telstra shirt, walked into the bank’s building and said the organization’s switch was down. He created a lot of huff and puff; so the building’s security agents let him walk through to the switch room.

Though this is a very rare incident, it proves that it wasn’t technology that failed the bank, it was the human element.

Improving readiness against cyber incidents involves a response plan, continuous education on cyber security vigilance, routine updates to hardware and software, strong password management, and cyber risk insurance. Most importantly reduce human error by increasing cautiousness and education.

Companies can’t be complacent when it comes to IT security. Though you’ve taken great measures to prevent and/or mitigate losses, if people fail to consistently follow through with the day-in day-out responsibilities required to keep risks in check, it is all in jeopardy.

Complacency can lead to massive failure. Some common causes of complacency.

  • Foregoing a “Moment of Insight”

  • Maintaining a Sense of Overconfidence

  • Having a False Sense of Reality

  • The Tendency to Make Excuses

Regaining Situational Awareness.

If you lose situational awareness, you don't know what is going on so it is difficult to realize that you have lost situational awareness! You may be vaguely aware that something is wrong but can't put your finger on what it is (pinch). Or, you might be sitting there thinking, "This is stupid!" If you find yourself in this situation, immediately verbalize your concerns even if no one is around to hear them. This has the effect of snapping yourself and others into the reality of the situation so you can effectively deal with it.

Connect with us to learn how to reduce the human error of complacency at your organization.

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