Business Continuity Management / Disaster Recovery , Governance & Risk Management , Security Awareness Programs & Computer-based Training

Using Psychology to Increase Organizational Resiliency

Denise Beardon on How Focusing on Instinct and Behavior Helps Employees Stay Secure
Denise Beardon, head of information security engagement, Pinsent Masons

Including psychology in cybersecurity educational awareness programs allows employees to recognize and trust their own instincts when dealing with a potential security incident, says Denise Beardon, head of information security engagement at international law firm Pinsent Masons.

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Using email phishing as an example, she says, "As we bring in psychology and talk about how the mind is involved with attacks," employees become "more likely to follow secure behavior, and that's where they mitigate that risk."

In a video interview with Information Security Media Group, Beardon discusses:

  • How employees might be unfamiliar with the military and technical language used in discussing cybersecurity;
  • Examples of how to look at cybersecurity incidents differently by focusing on the psychological aspects of attacks;
  • How organizations can foster an open, transparent and supportive security culture.

Beardon is the creator of the Human Cyber Index, an academically supported measurement of an organization’s security culture, including whether its employees are equipped to combat the potential risk and the impact of the organization’s policies and behaviors. She has more than a decade of experience delivering positive change to security cultures across a variety of organizations across the globe.


About the Author

Anna Delaney

Anna Delaney

Director, ISMG Productions

An experienced broadcast journalist, Delaney conducts interviews with senior cybersecurity leaders around the world. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of the website for The European Information Security Summit, or TEISS. Earlier, she worked at Levant TV and Resonance FM and served as a researcher at the BBC and ITV in their documentary and factual TV departments.




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