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The Human Firewall: Our Only Hope

human firewall

In the war against nefarious uses of the Internet, the human firewall is our only hope. The fate of the Republic is in your hands, literally, in your index finger. What, you think this language is too exalted? Read on:

Phishing is epidemic; it’s the most successful way to initiate a high-tech attack against an organization or a low-tech social engineering attack – both of which can result in equal amounts of destructive success. Unfortunately, there is only so much technology we can put in place to prevent phishing. Firewalls and email filters can only go so far. As Princess Leia said to Obi Wan Kenobi in a hologram projected by RD-D2 that Luke Skywalker saw, you, the end user, are truly our only hope. Our last and final defense is the end user, sitting in front of their computer, with their index finger on the mouse button. That is the human firewall.

The Human Firewall

The end user poised to click or not to click must be trained and educated on the dangers of phishing emails and scams. The challenge is how, how do you train new employees to veteran employees on the dangers of careless clicking and taking the bait. How does a mother fish train her baby fish not to take the bait with the hook embedded in it? How many fish getting drug through the water by their lips do other fish need to see to realize the tasty bait isn’t worth the risk? The same is true for us. Perhaps less folks would click on phishing emails if they were drug across the office by their lips.

A survey by the Pew Research Center in June of 2019 revealed just how much training is needed. Pew surveyed Americans about several digital topics and the results validated what the phishing evidence already proved. 49% of those surveyed did not know https:// in a URL means a site is encrypted. Only 67% knew phishing scams can occur on social media, websites, email, or text messages. And frighteningly only 28% can identify an example of true two-factor authentication through an image -this is clicking all the pictures of a stoplight kind of thing. We have our work cut out for us.