The Human Vulnerability Factor

A widely reported 2019 survey found that 99% of the attacks are focused on exploiting human vulnerabilities by targeting people instead of computer systems and infrastructure. Some of the most significant data breaches were carried out after stealing login credentials from human actors. Jenny Radcliffe, also known as “The People Hacker,” a world-renowned Social Engineer, provides some fascinating insights and stories regarding the human factor in cybersecurity. She discusses the various challenges of dealing with human vulnerabilities, provides specific recommendations on how to reduce such risks, gain top management buy-in, and more.

Memorable Jenny Radcliffe Quotes/Statements

“Properly use the security that you already have in place. A lock doesn’t work unless we turn the key.”

“People really need to know what they need to do when they see something suspicious.”

“The real vulnerability is in our humanity; the fact that we are human. We are vulnerable to cognitive biases, and errors, and they can be weaponized by someone with malicious intent.”


3:23 — What are the challenges in dealing with human vulnerabilities?

6:07 –- What are some specific recommendations on how to reduce the human vulnerability risk?

12:09 — What kind of senior executive buy-in do you see when talking with companies? Buy-in from the standpoint of focusing on the human vulnerability factor.

17:12 –- Given your experience as an ethical hacker, is there a story (about exploiting human vulnerability) that you can share?

28:25 — What are organizations doing to incentivize security-driven disciplined behavior?

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