Constant security alerts and updates leave users with feeling of Security Fatigue.
As technology users we are under a constant barrage of alerts, warnings and updates, all under the guise of ‘security’. Many people are becoming desensitized to the security threats which surround us, according to a study carried out by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This results in more people being susceptible to attacks, the institute warns.
Many of the report’s subjects indicated they felt overwhelmed by the need to be alert to attacks at all times and by the various security measures put in place by the different websites they visit. Mary Theofanos, one of the experts who co-ordinated the study, said this:
Years ago, you had one password to keep up with at work. Now people are being asked to remember 25 or 30. We haven’t really thought about cybersecurity expanding and what it has done to people.
The NIST study involved in-depth interviews with a cross-section of the American public aged 20-60, living in both rural and urban areas, and employed with both high- and low-paying jobs.
Responses indicated that many were less than positive about what they could do to avoid being attacked, and many expect to be caught out at some point in the future. Many questioned the need for increased security when they do not work for either the government or a finance company.
NIST has revealed that they are planning a follow-up survey in order to gauge the feelings of those who work in the technology sector to determine how they feel about security and find out whether security fatigue is an issue for them to the same extent. The study recommended that websites companies and services need to co-ordinate their approach to security in order to lighten the load on the user.
“If people can’t use security, they are not going to, and then we and our nation won’t be secure,” the report’s co-author Brian Stanton said.