Information overload puts cybersecurity at risk

Over half of today’s office workers are ignoring important cybersecurity alerts and warnings due to information overload from digital communication.

New research from CybSafe, based on a survey of 1,000 office workers, shows 54 percent have ignore warnings, while 47 per cent admitted to feeling the information overload is having an impact on their ability to identify threats such as suspicious emails.

In addition 72 percent say they feel at least occasionally overwhelmed with the amount of information and communications they get at work. 41 percent feel that information overload is impacting their ability to retain and apply knowledge gained from cybersecurity training sessions.

The top barriers to cybersecurity training are named as time constraints (42 percent), interest and motivation (30 percent), complexity of training materials (15 percent) and no direct relevance to daily roles (10 percent).

Oz Alahse, CEO of CybSafe, says:

As time goes on, organizations understand the question ‘do our people have access to cybersecurity information?’ is the wrong one. Instead, many are now asking, ‘How do we give cybersecurity support in a way that will engage workers and lead to genuine behavioral change?’

We must empathize with the workforce of today. Employees are caught in an erratic stream of emails with varying levels of importance and instant messages on multiple platforms, not to mention social media — it isn’t surprising cybersecurity information is getting lost along the way. Importantly, however, this inconsistency isn’t merely inconvenient or irritating — it’s actively undermining the goal of informed cybersecurity behavior. This is the issue we now need to tackle as security professionals.

As a result, CISOs need to consider not only the material their people are consuming but on what platform it is being delivered to them and in what way.

The research also finds 77 per cent of people expect their digital experiences to be as frictionless and personalized as consumer experiences. This suggests leaders need to do more if they want to see better cybersecurity engagement within their workforce.

The full report is available from the CybSafe site.

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