I have read so much about the technology that accompanies monitoring for possible breaches that I consistently come back to “Ockham’s Razor.” Most people believe that this adage is about “the simplest solution usually being the best” but that is not the whole story. The Latin phrase that William of Ockham used meant “Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected” (according to wikipedia). Another interpretation would be that “entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity.” In all these theories, it is evident that it is best to keep things simple. So why are we increasingly making cybersecurity more difficult?
No matter how many people you have as employees, by having more than one set of eyes and ears, you have a monitoring system already in place. If you do not have the employee loyalty that you need for people to help this monitoring then the bottom line is you need to increase that loyalty through some good ol’ fashioned management and mentoring. Other IT professionals that I talk with mention the “insider threat” but I counter that if you have a loyal workforce, the insider threat is reduced or even eliminated. There is a difference between insider threat and insider mistake. Your yearly computer security policy is rarely read and rarely dignified more than a perfunctory glance, so make it part of the weekly staff meetings or town hall meetings. Point to people that were vigilant and what they received in the way of reward for being that vigilant. Ladies and gentlemen, treat your workforce as if they were people you want to respect and they will respect you. If you are a parent, you know that treating your children with respect always lands you on your feet — do the same with your workforce. I will write more on this as this topic is beginning to finally sink in to the cyber workforce. The more “buttonology” we employ, the more difficult it is to get the “troops on the ground” to take notice. In fact, if you make the cybersecurity so complex, the workforce will work to avoid or to bypass that security — making again an insider threat into an insider mistake.
If we do not start considering the human factor in all this, we are doomed to making people more scared of the cure than of the disease.