Friday, July 3, 2009

Excellent Awareness talk from British Airways

There were several great talks at the recent ENISA conference on raising IT Security Awareness. I would like to mention one here from Robert Hadfield of British Airways called “Silver Bullets, Kangaroos and Speed Cameras”, which is embedded below from Scribd.

Hadfield began by reporting on an experiment where 100 identical emails with an executable attachment were sent to employees marked as urgent. The result was that 84 people opened the email, and 69 also executed the attachment. So he said we have a problem with people. To justify a security awareness program he gave the following very wise reasons

  1. Simple human error, ignorance or omission is most commonly at the root of any security breach
  2. We need to enable employees to acquire security knowledge by using there own reason, intuition and perception. We must seek long term behavioural change.
  3. Pound for pound, raising awareness will improve security far more effectively than any technical solution can ever hope to achieve.

He also noted that since the average cost of a security breach is about £50,000 then awareness programs can pay for themselves if they can prevent one or two of these incidents per year. Even so, how do you effect change on a group of 45,000 mostly disinterested employees? Hadfield found great success in meet-the-people workshops & roadshows, which were reported as a very effective awareness mechanism by other speakers and the ENISA workshop as well, and also the main conclusion from an ENISA survey conducted by PwC last year. Hadfield reports that over 200 workshops have been undertaken this year resulting in over 2000 people being trained. BA also uses other channels besides workshops, and one of their clever posters is shown below - a reminder to users to lock their desktops when wandering off for a coffee.


I am leaving out many clever observation and graphics so please take a look at the presentation for yourself.

IT Security Awareness presentation from British Airways, June 2009

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing I enjoy reading this post in the morning.