Most employers would agree that curiosity is a characteristic they value in their offices.
But let’s not forget what curiosity did to the proverbial cat.
Our late feline friend found out the hard way, but IT departments are, too. No one in the building sees the necessity of risk management APIs more clearly than IT.
As personal devices, social media, outsourcing and cloud computing permeate the work atmosphere, IT knows just how lethal curiosity can be to a company’s corporate secrets, brand and reputation.
Here’s a jaw-dropping case in point:
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon recently conducted an experiment in which they scattered memory sticks on sidewalks and parking lots outside government offices, then waited to see what would happen.
Most of the workers who found the sticks must’ve had their share of curiosity, because an amazing 60 percent of the sticks ended up getting plugged into office computers, the Financial Times reports. If the sticks were marked “U.S. government”, however, the percentage was even higher — 90 percent.
So, while employers might assume staffers — however curious they might be — would have the training and judgment to know not to stick something they’d found on the street into their computers, management is apparently misjudging human nature.
Hackers seem to understand it a little better.
They know — as the scattered memory-stick experiment points out — that your technique doesn’t even need to be all that sophisticated. In fact, Carnegie Mellon says, some of the most unsophisticated attacks have resulted in the greatest amount of damage to businesses.
Sophisticated or not, the Poneman Institute LLC, a Michigan-based research organization, pegs the annual cost of cyber attacks to U.S. industries at $8.9 million.
That adds up to 8.9 million more reasons to contact us.