Psychology and Cybersecurity

Both psychology and cybersecurity are vital topics to discuss, but when putting them together they can be even more powerful. Psychology is primarily about understanding ones thinking when it comes to decision-making. Cybersecurity is primarily about protecting systems from the online world.

Many studies have shown that human factors are the weakest link when it comes to online activity. Humans in general, play a critical role in helping to mitigate those online risks. Business can have the most sophisticated security systems for their organization, but without user education those systems can’t protect them. People in general tend to become a victim of social engineering and/or risk financial and social loss due to making bad decisions. False promises often lead people to fall victim because malicious hackers often make things sound too good to be true and user become a victim of that too good to be true circumstance.

Often, there is a high cost to pay when users fall victim to false promises, which leaves the companies or person with a high cost to pay. When malicious hackers make promises they often ask for sensitive information that could sometimes lead to a huge pay-out for them. Companies and people have loss millions and sometime billions of dollars behind malicious attacks of this nature. Overall, many psychological disadvantages have taken place due to the lack of information concerning sensitive information. Now-a-days people are too freely to share their personal information online, which makes them even more vulnerable. User should know if they did not request the website and it comes to them freely with lack of information and no direct identifiers (using sir/madam or anything generic) then, more than likely the person who sent it does not know who they really are.

There are a number of cultural and behavioral shifts towards cybersecurity that need to know such as:

  • Understanding ones’ perception of risk and reward
  • Identifying patterns of criminal and malicious activities
  • Psychological and social impact of cybercrime to help elevate levels of virtual crimes being more similar in number with non-virtual crimes
  • Public awareness of cybersecurity risks to help adjust perception
  • Understanding the impact of cybercrime on victims through various victimization stages

If each of these ideas listed were to be broken-up into a Cybersecurity Program within ones’ organization, it could help reduce that urge of that “too good to be true” promise that was made by the malicious hacker and help save the organization and/or person tons of money.

Overall, human decisions are a major factor when it comes to cybersecurity and everyone needs to be educated on how to respond based on the information given to them. Companies can purchase the most sophisticated systems to secure their organization and still be at risk due to one human decision. To prevent one from falling victim, user education should be seen as just as vital as the equipment one uses to protect their network with.

Avast-Cyber-Psychology-Part-2-CoverSource: Avast.com

Resource:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260520107_The_Role_of_Psychology_in_Enhancing_Cybersecurity

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