Human Error in the machine

Human Error in the machine

Cyber criminals are very good at finding human vulnerabilities within an organisation through social engineering. These types of attacks rely on human psychology rather than technological pathways, and they are notoriously effective. Why is this the case? Read further to discover why the error in the machine is human.

With cybercrime now a multi trillion-dollar business, the need for both individuals and businesses alike to understand the methods used by bad actors and the preventative measures available to combat them is more important than ever.

You may be misled to the true cause of cybercrime as well. Hollywood will have you believe that hacking involves furiously mashing a keyboard to infiltrate a company’s database.

The truth is much simpler, and more sinister too.

The truth is the hacker is using you.

A major factor in cyber security threats for 2023 is human error. Research by the World Economic Forum, in their CS Hub Mid-Year Market Report 2022, found that 95 percent of cyber security issues could be traced back to a person making a mistake.

Social engineering and phishing are ways by which criminals can gain control of someone’s life. “Criminals are after two things, your funds or your data,” Professor Iqbal Gondal states. “If they acquire your data, this can be sold on the dark web.” Professor Gondal is the Associate Dean of RMIT Melbourne’s Cloud Systems and Security Discipline.

Headshot photo of a middle-aged man with glasses and mustache and wearing a suit

Scams, Professor Gondal notes, are seasonal. When it is Christmas time, there are Christmas scams, same goes for Lunar New Year in Vietnam. The global lockdowns gave scammers new angles to ploy, including parcel delivery fraudulent email and call scams. In sophisticated scams, Professor Jonathan Crellin, Program Manager for RMIT Vietnam’s Master of Cyber Security states that bad actors will stake out an apartment building or office and watch the people who arrive, how they arrive (such as by bicycle) and who is receiving packages. Phishing attacks will be tailored to individuals. All the criminals need you to do is click the link.

And therein lies the problem. It is so very easy to click the link.

“There are a number of ways to protect yourself and your organisation,” Professor Gondal notes. “The very first thing to do is create a culture of ‘should I be clicking on this’? Always be skeptical. Look at the link extension – does it look suspicious? Other things we can do is not use our devices to visit insecure websites, always update our computer systems and use password manager apps.”

You may feel overwhelmed or tired of hearing about cyber scams, however, that is the world we live in today. To protect all those within your community or network, we all must remain vigilant. The social and financial cost to society for lapses in judgment is immense.

The Master of Cyber Security importantly teaches students how to become experts not only at the technical side of the business, but also the human side as well. By combining both, graduates acquire the knowledge to become true cyber security professionals.


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