Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

4/21/2009
08:00 PM
Gadi Evron
Gadi Evron
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Analyzing Security Psychology

The integration of psychology into the security strategic-thinking process is critical for the advancement of information security. The human element influences all security controls because all of these controls seek to regulate human behavior.

The integration of psychology into the security strategic-thinking process is critical for the advancement of information security. The human element influences all security controls because all of these controls seek to regulate human behavior.Consider passwords. They require handling in a technological fashion that will be safe from theft. But as we all know, attackers go after the weakest link. The weakest link may be the user's display screen.

That makes convincing the user that keeping a password secret is a good idea problematic. Users forget their passwords, and they want them to be handy when they do.

They want easy-to-remember passwords rather than ones that can be secured from brute-force attacks. So security policy -- which demands the user create a password with 15 characters, two letters, and one period -- may not go over well. One urban legend is that when users were required to change their passwords without using their previous 30 passwords, after 30 times they would just use their old password again.

Functionality trumps security, as it should, in most cases. Building security to accommodate functionality rather than being an inhibitor -- the enemy -- is the way to go.

Information security professionals are technical, but it is ever more obvious that the psychological element of security is just as important when trying to secure any environment involving people. Putting "people handling" into the security planning and design phases solves many future risks, but this is not yet common practice.

So what do you think? Should people be our top concern? How do we go about educating users on the risks they are taking, or try to limit the risks despite users' lack of "common sense" in this arena? Do you have examples in your organization where this either worked or failed? Send me a comment.

Follow Gadi Evron on Twitter: http://twitter.com/gadievron

Gadi Evron is an independent security strategist based in Israel. Special to Dark Reading. Gadi is CEO and founder of Cymmetria, a cyber deception startup and chairman of the Israeli CERT. Previously, he was vice president of cybersecurity strategy for Kaspersky Lab and led PwC's Cyber Security Center of Excellence, located in Israel. He is widely recognized for ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Data Leak Week: Billions of Sensitive Files Exposed Online
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/10/2019
Lessons from the NSA: Know Your Assets
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  12/12/2019
4 Tips to Run Fast in the Face of Digital Transformation
Shane Buckley, President & Chief Operating Officer, Gigamon,  12/9/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19797
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-15
read_colordef in read.c in Xfig fig2dev 3.2.7b has an out-of-bounds write.
CVE-2019-5252
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
There is an improper authentication vulnerability in Huawei smartphones (Y9, Honor 8X, Honor 9 Lite, Honor 9i, Y6 Pro). The applock does not perform a sufficient authentication in a rare condition. Successful exploit could allow the attacker to use the application locked by applock in an instant.
CVE-2019-5235
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
Some Huawei smart phones have a null pointer dereference vulnerability. An attacker crafts specific packets and sends to the affected product to exploit this vulnerability. Successful exploitation may cause the affected phone to be abnormal.
CVE-2019-5264
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
There is an information disclosure vulnerability in certain Huawei smartphones (Mate 10;Mate 10 Pro;Honor V10;Changxiang 7S;P-smart;Changxiang 8 Plus;Y9 2018;Honor 9 Lite;Honor 9i;Mate 9). The software does not properly handle certain information of applications locked by applock in a rare condition...
CVE-2019-5277
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Huawei CloudUSM-EUA V600R006C10;V600R019C00 have an information leak vulnerability. Due to improper configuration, the attacker may cause information leak by successful exploitation.