Human error – Deliberate or unintentional?


By Visahl Samson David Selvam, Singapore

Throughout this technology age, from industrial to business, cyber security plays a critical role everywhere. Maintaining confidentiality of information in an enterprise helps it to work and maintains consistent operations.

The human is the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain from the very beginning (Swinhoe, 2019) in 2019. In the field of information security, human error can be divided into two groups, either deliberate or unintentional. An intentional one may occur due to an insider threat, which has motivations behind it. While an unintentional one has no motivation or pre-planning, which may be due to a number of reasons, such as not knowing how a particular technology works, or lack of awareness.

According to research conducted by Kaspersky (Kaspersky, 2017), in 2017 nearly 49% of malware/virus attacks are consisting of human error as contributing factors. In these attacks 53% are due to careless/uninformed employees, 36% of social engineering/phishing attacks, 38% is accidental hardware loss by the employee. Furthermore, as per Verizon’s 2019 data breach investigation report (Verizon, 2019), 34% of the data breaches are due to the threat of human error.

Human error causes and impacts

The research demonstrates that human error contributes to data breaches. Companies need to establish how these issues are going to happen and how it can impact them. There are several causes of human error.

The primary one is ignoring the workplace policies and/ or not being aware of them. Under this case, the employee is presumably not aware of the organization’s information security policies and the employee has breached the policy which has resulted in a security incident…Click here to find out more.