Dr. ir Johannes Drooghaag

The Human Element in Cyber Security

The Human Element in Cyber Security

The Human Element in Cyber Security continues to be the largest contributor to cyber incidents and breaches. Contrary to what is commonly seen as the main root cause behind cyber incidents and breaches, user errors as the root cause for the investigated incidents in 2020 are with 9.3% only a minor influence compared to the other causes. In the same way, the technology itself with 7.8% also is not the largest group of reasons why cyber incidents occur. In fact, the number of cases where either user errors or the technology itself are the root cause for cyber incidents are declining!

Within the scope of our research and reporting, the configuration (28.2% in 2020) and the management (54.7% in 2020) of technology are by far the largest groups of preventable root causes and that continues to be a genuinely concerning finding. Combined, these groups have been identified as the root cause for 82.9% of the investigated cyber incidents in 2020. Without taking a closer look at the complexity and restrains, it might be the easy solution to blame IT Departments and Service Providers for these issues but that would be as far from the truth as can possible be.
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