Have you seen the latest news? Don’t worry if you haven’t, I’m sure you will. These things are everywhere. No matter where you look; online, on your television, or even in print, there is another story about yet another company having their digital system breached due to false or hacked authentication. You probably saw more than one of those news headlines today, or earlier this week, and don’t even realize it. There is no doubt about it: there has been a huge increase in authentication security issues. That’s why we’re here today: Security numbness.
Authentication Security Vulnerabilities – The Human Mistake
You know how you look at the same screen for hours, day in and day out, punching numbers or search terms in, filling out forms, and repeating the process over again? It’s become so ingrained into your body and mind that it’s now an unconscious process: you don’t even think about it. You wake up, go to work, log in, and nine hours later you are driving home thinking: huh, what did I do today?
It’s not something to be ashamed of, so don’t worry about it. We all do it, really. It’s part of the way the human brain works: optimization. It figures out what things are most important, and what things are routine, and uses this data to prioritize what it stores as important memory. The brain is like a computer, except it’s much better at making things work smoothly.
Sure, there is nothing wrong with following a set routine or pattern, but consider this: What happens when that pattern betrays you? Without even realizing it, your brain is becoming an accomplice to the worst days of your life. In a recent article posted by ARStechnica, Dan Goodin reiterates some new research stating, basically, “MRIs show our brains shutting down when we see security prompts.”
We see so many security alerts now that we’ve become habitual in our process of dismissing them. It’s become so bad that we don’t believe half of what we see, and barely register the impact of the half that we do. Because of this, authentication security vulnerabilities are steadily increasing.
Remember those security breaches we were talking about? If you get right down to the nitty-gritty, a lot of those incidents happen either because of weak authentication security, or because users click on unsafe links. Even when we see browsers give us the alert that looks like this:
The sad truth is that we just don’t notice anymore. We’ve all been trained to regard even warnings with suspicion, because maybe there is a virus hiding behind there! As such, after a while your brain, that clever little bugger snuggled behind your eyes, constantly working to keep you going, filters them out and you click right on through.
The potential risks for security numbness are staggering, and it will take constant vigilance to keep from falling prey. If you’re worried about your business falling victim to phishing schemes due to this numbness, there are solutions out there. Providing the ability to reset passwords when they may be compromised is a big step in the right direction. Making that process available for the end users to accomplish on his or her own is even better.
Take a look at PortalGuard for instance: Not only do you get a full service authentication security solution package to secure your users at the front door, but you also have the option to enable various self service password reset options. Should the user’s password be at risk, it becomes a simple matter to reset it either right there on the computer, or even with the mobile self service password reset app.
It’s not easy to fight your natural processes, and your brain is one of the toughest baddies around. An easy way to make sure it doesn’t drive you right into a phishing net is to set up some safeguards beforehand. You might not think it’s a big deal now, but consider this:
Do you really want to risk your most important information on something that can just mess with you whenever it wants.
Questions, concerns, think there was something I didn’t consider? Let me know in the comments below!