fbpx
What Do HR and Psychology Have to Do With Cyber Threats?
What Do HR and Psychology Have to Do With Cyber Threats?

Where is the Real Threat?

In the internet world festooned with apps we know it’s important to use strong passwords to secure our own email, social media accounts, and electronic devices. On the corporate side, another important consideration is the role that humans play in cyber threats. People with access to big data, personal information, intellectual property (IP), and critical infrastructure (e.g., power supplies, water treatment, hospitals, railways) can sometimes be the weak link in the chain.

HR as Part of Risk Management

Person and Binary Computer CodesFor a while, I’ve been thinking about cyber crimes and cybersecurity and how to adapt what I learned and applied when I worked in a very secure (Top Secret) environment. In that workplace, we were extremely careful about how people were hired. Also important was how they were treated after being hired. I call my adaptation of those processes and policies “HR as Part of Risk Management.” I’ll admit that this may not be a stylish title but it does address something that most approaches to risk management are missing.

Employees: Often the Weakest Link 

Ominous Dark Buildings

                          Consider a 360-degree Solution

Traditionally, risk management includes “human factors” but to date, relatively little attention has been paid to this source of risk. Normally, 90% of our collective efforts have focused on technical or IT-related interventions to protect us from cyber threats. Yes, these are important. However, to focus on them and not address the human element, psychology or employees’ behaviour is like locking the front door but leaving the back door open. The fact is that sometimes security breaches reported as cyber attacks are caused by actions that take place inside the organization. As Dermot Williams, the CEO of  IT security firm Threatscape says, “when it comes to organizations, often the employees who are the weakest link.”

Although I have a lot more to say on this topic, for now, I’ll share an article that I wrote called Is Cyber Security Alone Ever Enough?, published in FrontLine Security in October 2016. Take a few minutes and read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to see my more recent articles/podcasts on this topic, here are some updates:

Corporate Security Hinges on its People

Sources Of Insider Threats: They’re Not Always What You Think …

The Insider Threat Podcast

 

Contact me by email, phone, or via direct message on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn if you’d like to discuss any of these topics or consultations in more detail.

 

More than career coaching, it’s career psychology®.

 

I/O Advisory Services – Building Resilient Careers and Organizations.™

 

Easily share this article using any of the social media icons below.Save

Latest Posts

Scary Work: Revisiting Some Haunting Past Situations

Scary Work: Revisiting Some Haunting Past Situations

The real-life corporate psychopath usually isn’t the over-the-top caricature of a masked, axe-wielding maniac chasing his victims down a dark alley. But, when we’re unlucky, corporate psychopaths do walk among us. They can have an extremely detrimental impact on their peers and people who report to them, and can hurt the organization for which they work. There are also other things happening to some of us that make for scary work situations.

The Big Quit Continues: Why Employees are Unhappy at Work

The Big Quit Continues: Why Employees are Unhappy at Work

Job dissatisfaction is at an all-time high. Despite fears of a recession, the Big Quit is still underway, with more and more people quitting their jobs in search of something better. I’ve written previously about the Big Quit phenomenon, and how the uncertainty of the pandemic has impacted our work-related choices. Certainly, wages are a major factor in this decision-making process. With the cost of living rising and wages not keeping pace, it’s no wonder that people are looking for greener pastures. But there’s one key factor that’s driving a lot of churn in organizations …

Black Psychology – What is it and why is it important?

Black Psychology – What is it and why is it important?

While largely unknown, Black Psychology as a discipline has an established history. As a graduate student, Dr. Helen stumbled upon a book called Black Psychology (Third Edition) which was published in 1991. The book addressed the need to develop a Black perspective on the conceptualization, research, and practice of Psychology. So many years later, with so few Black psychologists in Canada and the United States, there still is a significant gap in the field. This Q&A blog provides a quick overview.