Security’s Biggest Threats: A look at Human Error and Cyber Weapons

As reported in Computer World’s article, Stupid Data Tricks, Uptime Institute, a research and consulting organization, evaluated 4,500 incidents affecting data centers and found that approximately 70 percent of the reported problems were not caused by a default in the technology but instead caused by human mistake.  Computer World provides examples of the types of human error affecting data centers including systems shut down or hampered due to thermostat-setting errors, plugging cables into the wrong place and failing to purchase more than one back-up tape.  At Euclid, we experienced our own loss of data several years ago when old hardware was plugged into the server, overriding the server’s current data.  These samples do seem to underscore the need to consider insurance options and establish risk management procedures.

Of course quality risk management procedures may be put to the test in the case of a new malware named Stuxnet which is reported to be spread via infected USB devices. This malware is garnering a fair amount of attention because it focuses on software that controls systems at manufacturing and utility companies and because it exploits a previously unknown vulnerability in Windows.  Is it truly a cyber super weapon?  Read more about it in an article from the Christian Science Monitor.