Thursday, May 13, 2010

E60% of US Managers will circumvent Company Security Policy!

I came across this article at Employees continue to put data at risk which talks about a study conducted by Ponemon Institute where it compares the "Human Factor" in laptop encryption. This year's study was expanded to include Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Sweeden. The most interesting and perhaps puzzling was the enormous difference between some European countries and their North American counterparts.
According to Ponemon Institute 15% of German and 13% of Sweedish business managers have disengaged their encryption solution. Compare this to 52% of Canadian, 53% of British and a whopping 60% of US business managers. WHAT??!?!? That's right sixty percent!

Let me get this straight corporations spend billions of dollars on all this fancy security software and 60% of US business managers turn it off. Why?? I'm sure reasons for doing it vary and there are as many reasons as stars in the sky but I'm willing to bet vast majority is simply convenience and I hate to say it required effort level to accomplish a given task.

North American's have always been a comfort driven bunch. Europeans have always been less extravagant in their lifestyles. I'm thinking environment issues like composting, recycling, driving much smaller and more fuel efficient cars. Much smaller housing and overall much smaller foot print on this wonderful planet. I'm guessing this attitude automatically translates well  to other work related situations including security. A little inconvenience for the greater good.

On the flip side we North Americans are quite the opposite we've always had a 'me' rather then 'we' attitude. We have larger housing requirements, larger cars, we produce the most waste per capita vs. other countries. If you need more examples look at waste management and recycling which has been flourishing in Europe for over 20 years (and I don't mean the basics paper,glass,plastic) Europeans have been recycling other items including food waste (compost) 15 years ago. The amount of landfill garbage they produce is minuscule as a percentage of their overall generated waste.

I guess what I'm saying is given the 'me' attitude we have in North America security will always take a back seat over convenience and required effort. We're just lazy! Will this ever change? I suspect it will but it will take time, lots of time. But given the growing global cyber attacks by governments and corporations things will get worse before they get better. And we can't afford such 'me' attitude much longer. 

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