Tuesday, April 5

Human Behavior = Biggest Security Risk

Two quick examples (both considered 'spear phishing' or targeted phishing attacks) from today's headlines:

1. The perpetrators of the RSA data breach which may have compromised the security of RSA's premium two-factor authentication solution, as it turns out, got help from RSA employees when they opened an email attachment. An Excel spreadsheet containing an Adobe Flash exploit opened the doors to RSA's network.

2. Conde Nast recently paid $8 Million to a fake company in response to a single believeable email that asked them politely to update their payee information on one of their vendors.

Both of these examples make the clear, simple point that it doesn't really matter how much technology you put between an attacker and your business assets. If an employee opens the door, they can walk right in. We're either going to get extreme in terms of limiting behavioral options (disallow all email attachments?) or we need to do much better in employee training.

Since employees are ultimately only motivated by what is easier, I don't think training will be the silver-bullet answer.