Bad moods weaken cybersecurity, UD research says - Delaware


Jan. 31, 2018 7:38 am

Bad moods weaken cybersecurity, UD research says

The better an employee's mood, the more likely they are to follow cybersecurity policies, the study finds.

Attention business owners: Bad days can compromise cybersecurity.

(Photo by Flickr user Omar Gurnah, used under a Creative Commons license)

Firms like Wilmington’s The Fun Dept. have been saying that happy employees equal more profitable companies for years. Now, according to a report by the University of Delaware’s John D’Arcy, it appears that the crabbier the employees, the less secure their computing behavior.

UDaily’s Sunny Rosen reports on the associate professor’s findings:

Insecure workplace computing behavior includes things like using weak passwords, accessing unapproved software or not using two-factor authentication, said D’Arcy.

Most organizations have formal policies that prohibit such behavior. To try and predict why people violate these policies, D’Arcy worked with City University of Hong Kong’s Paul Benjamin Lowry to survey professionals in organizations throughout the United States about their workplace computing behavior.

The longitudinal survey found that “moods and emotions influence people’s security-related behavior,” D’Arcy said. “And these things vary from day to day, which can make people’s behavior vary from day to day.”

According to the survey, employees in better moods are more likely to have a positive attitude about security and are more likely to follow policy.

With the results of D’Arcy’s research, which will be published in Information Systems Journal, companies might view employee happiness more seriously. If unhappy employees are a cybersecurity risk, it’s not just about productivity, but the safety of the company.

Organizations: University of Delaware


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