Visible to the public On Cybersecurity Loafing and Cybercomplacency

TitleOn Cybersecurity Loafing and Cybercomplacency
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsStafford, Tom
JournalSIGMIS Database
Keywordseditor's, Human Behavior, human factors, note, pubcrawl
AbstractAs we begin to publish more articles in the area of cybersecurity, a case in point being the fine set of security papers presented in this particular issue as well as the upcoming special issue on Advances in Behavioral Cybersecurity Research which is currently in the review phase, it comes to mind that there is an emerging rubric of interest to the research community involved in security. That rubric concerns itself with the increasingly odd and inexplicable degree of comfort that computer users appear to have while operating in an increasingly threat-rich online environment. In my own work, I have noticed over time that users are blissfully unconcerned about malware threats (Poston et al., 2005; Stafford, 2005; Stafford and Poston, 2010; Stafford and Urbaczewski, 2004). This often takes the avenue of "it can't happen to me," or, "that's just not likely," but the fact is, since I first started noticing this odd nonchalance it seems like it is only getting worse, generally speaking. Mind you, a computer user who has been exploited and suffered harm from it will be vigilant to the end of his or her days, but for those who have scraped by, "no worries," is the order of the day, it seems to me. This is problematic because the exploits that are abroad in the online world these days are a whole order of magnitude more harmful than those that were around when I first started studying the matter a decade ago. I would not have commented on the matter, having long since chalked it up to the oddities of civilian computing, so to speak, but an odd pattern I encountered when engaging in a research study with trained corporate users brought the matter back to the fore recently. I have been collecting neurocogntive data on user response to security threats, and while my primary interest was to see if skin conductance or pupillary dilation varied during exposure to computer threat scenarios, I noticed an odd pattern that commanded my attention and actually derailed my study for a while as I dug in to examine it.
Citation Keystafford_cybersecurity_2017