Human Error

Admit it. You’ve let that “urgent software update” warning sit in your inbox for a little too long, clicked on a dubious-looking link, or given in to a sketchy online deal. We’ve all been there, let down by our incompetence with technology. But even seemingly insignificant errors can have serious repercussions in the shadowy business of cybercrime. This is because people are the biggest security flaw for hackers.

While sophisticated technology may play a part in cyberattacks, research indicates that human mistake accounts for an astounding 95% of breaches. A careless password selection in one place, a baited phishing email click in another, and all your company’s private information is on the internet. Before you assign blame, remember that human error is more than simply one person’s mistake—also it’s about the institutions and cultures that make us susceptible in the first place.

Consider this: you wouldn’t expect a chef in a filthy, inadequately equipped kitchen to provide a five-star dinner. Therefore, why do we expect staff members to handle the complex digital frontier of cyber threats while employing outdated software, unclear security guidelines, and little training?

It’s like setting them up for failure, then blaming them when the soufflé collapses.

Types of Human Error in Cyber Attack

Human error happens only when there is opportunity to do so, and as such it is important to get rid of error opportunities as much as possible.


Accidental data breaches: An accidental data breach refers to an unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or confidential information due to a mistake or oversight. This can occur when an individual, such as an employee, accidentally sends an email to the wrong recipient, leaves confidential documents in an unsecured location, or fails to properly secure a device containing sensitive information.

Accidental data breaches can have serious consequences, including loss of sensitive information, loss of privacy, financial losses, and damage to an organization’s reputation. In some cases, it may also result in regulatory fines and legal liability, particularly if the information that was disclosed was subject to privacy or data protection laws.


Neglecting software updates: This refers to the failure of individuals to install critical security updates for the software and systems they use. This can include software running on computers, mobile devices, and network equipment.


This a common type of human error because people may be busy or may not understand the importance of keeping their systems up to date. When software developers discover a security vulnerability in their products, they often release a patch or update to fix the problem. However, if users fail to install these updates, their systems and data will remain vulnerable to attack.


Careless disposal of data: This involves the improper handling or disposal of electronic devices or data storage media, such as hard drives, USB drives, or mobile devices, that contain sensitive information.

Careless disposal of data is a common type of human error because people may not understand the risks involved or may not take the necessary steps to securely erase the information.

When electronic devices and data storage media are not properly disposed of or securely erased, the information they contain can fall into the wrong hands and be used for malicious purposes, such as identity theft or financial fraud.


Social engineering: This is a type of human error in cyber-attacks that involves tricking individuals into revealing confidential information or granting unauthorized access to systems or data. This can be done through a variety of tactics, including phishing scams, pretexting, baiting, and tailgating.

Social engineering attacks can be highly effective because they exploit the trust that individuals have in others. This type of human error can have serious consequences for both individuals and organizations, including the loss of sensitive information, financial losses, and damage to reputation.


How to prevent human error in your organization

There are several steps that organizations can take to prevent human error and reduce their vulnerability to cyber-attacks:


Security Awareness Training: Regular security awareness training can help educate employees about the risks of human error, the types of attacks they may encounter, and how to recognize and respond to these threats.


Establish Clear Policies and Procedures: Organizations should establish clear ethics and procedures for data handling, software updates, and other security-related tasks, and ensure that all employees are aware of these policies and understand their responsibilities.


Implement Strong Passwords and Multifactor Authentication: Requiring strong passwords and using multifactor authentication can help protect systems and data from unauthorized access, even if an attacker can obtain a password.


Conduct Regular Security Audits: Regular security audits can help identify and address any security vulnerabilities, including those that may be caused by human error, and help ensure that all systems and data are protected.


Encourage Reporting of Security Incidents: Organizations should encourage employees to report any security incidents or suspicious activity and establish a clear process for reporting and responding to these incidents.


Use Automated Tools and Technologies: Automated tools and technologies, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and endpoint security software, can help protect systems and data and reduce the risk of human error.


Encourage a Culture of Security: Finally, organizations should encourage a culture of security that values privacy, security, and the responsible handling of information. This can help ensure that employees understand the importance of security and take steps to protect the organization’s systems and data.


By taking these steps, organizations can help prevent human error and reduce their vulnerability to cyber-attacks. Let’s hack our vulnerabilities, not become victims of them

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like