Distractions at work can have serious cybersecurity implications – Help Net Security

Distracted employees are twice as likely to do the bare minimum for security at work, according to 1Password. The findings reveal that sustained burnout, now paired with high levels of distraction, has critical implications for workplace security.
“While we hope the worst of the pandemic is behind us, world events continue to unsettle and distract employees. Mishaps are inevitable – it’s not a case of if world distractions will make employees more vulnerable to human error, it’s a matter of when,” said Jeff Shiner, CEO, 1Password. “That’s why it’s vital that businesses take security off people’s plates by implementing seamless systems that eliminate the need for human action. The easier we can make security, the less it will become yet another distraction. It’s a win-win for employees and companies.”
Workers have faced what can feel like an avalanche of crises and concerns over the past year. From the COVID-19 pandemic to the whipsawing financial markets and inflation, workers conveyed a vivid picture of their distraction on overdrive, with 53% related to economic or monetary concerns.
Despite high-profile breaches and ransomware attacks generating splashy media headlines weekly, silver linings are evident amid the chaos. Awareness of cyberthreats is increasing, and security automation and systems are making headway, counterbalancing human shortcomings around security.
Notable security improvements have been made in recent years, but research shows that bad security hygiene persists in the modern workplace. Poor password habits are still prevalent, and 50% of employees say the biggest threat their company faces is the prospect of employees falling for scams or phishing attempts.
Workers in the tech, IT and telecom industries reported being far more distracted compared to their non-tech counterparts. Tech workers are nearly twice as likely as others to say distractions make it hard to care about their jobs, and are more than three times as likely to do the bare minimum around security.
“Every crisis creates an opportunity for criminals to exploit victims via social engineering as they take advantage of psychological weaknesses. Many of the traditional human vulnerabilities are at greater risk in a time of permacrisis; curiosity, the power of authority figures, manufactured urgency, greed and other weaknesses will continue to be used to the attackers’ advantage,” said Troy Hunt, strategic advisor at 1Password and founder of Have I Been Pwned. “As the level of sophistication increases, even the most tech-savvy of us can fall victim to a well-crafted attack, and it’s our job in the industry to build more resilient systems and tools.”



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