Lenny Zeltser on Information Security — 3 Reasons Why People Choose to Ignore Security Recommendations

Lenny Zeltser on Information Security — 3 Reasons Why People Choose to Ignore Security Recommendations.

Lenny Zeltser relates a general psychology paper on Information Avoidance ($30 if you want to read the paper) to why security recommendations are ignored.

Here are the three reasons outlined in the paper:

(a) the information may demand a change in beliefs,
(b) the information may demand undesired action, and
(c) the information itself or the decision to learn information may cause unpleasant emotions or diminish pleasant emotions.

On the third point, Lenny hits on one of the age old concerns – the unpleasant emotion of “I bought the wrong security products.”

While this could be true in some situations, the more likely issue is that the security landscape has changed and obsoleted the purchased security product in question before it’s fully amortized.

We are seeing this today with respect to firewalls. The changes in the way browser-based applications communicate with servers and the related attack vectors have left traditional port-based firewall policies helpless to defend the organization.