The greatest security threat? Stupid people

Hardly a day goes by that you don’t hear about a security breach of some form. And most of us spend almost as much time and energy making sure that our networks are secure as we do on performance and optimization.  

Hardly a day goes by that you don’t hear about a security breach of some form. And most of us spend almost as much time and energy making sure that our networks are secure as we do on performance and optimization. 

In fact, as we see the rapid evolution to cloud networking, the immediate concern is how do we use the cloud and still provide equivalent security. Similarly, in the wireless world the rapid proliferation of mobile devices raises serious issues about the efficacy of various forms of wireless security.

However, the technical aspects of security pale in importance when compared to the biggest threat: People. Indeed, the capture of Osama bin Laden ultimately resulted from following human interactions rather than electronic surveillance of any form. People must appropriately implement security of corporate networks. And, on top of that, people must have common sense.

As reported in late June, even the Department of Homeland Security found that they were a vulnerable as anyone else to human misjudgment. As reported in the above, “Staff secretly dropped computer discs and USB thumb drives in the parking lots of government buildings and private contractors. Of those who picked them up, 60 percent plugged the devices into office computers, curious to see what they contained. If the drive or CD case had an official logo, 90 percent were installed.”

Unfortunately, we doubt that many – if any – corporations would do any better with “pentests.” (A pentest is a “penetration test” to evaluate security of a system.)

The bottom line? Individuals within the company must be constantly reminded of the vulnerability that their actions can bring to network security. And, as Ron White is often quoted, “you can’t fix stupid.”

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