Digital Trust & Security Seminar Series - Prof. Debi Ashenden

Time: 13:00 - 14:30

Venue: TH_1.5, Kilburn Building, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PL

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Social Loafing: Why Good People Breach Security And What To Do About It

There is a category of insider threat that has so far been under explored. This is the ‘everyday insider threat’, where people are committing small breaches of security policy, are aware that they are doing it but are not intending it to have a detrimental effect on the organisation. Motivations for these actions have, until now, not been explored in detail and yet the impact of these small breaches can have a disproportionate impact on an organisation.

This talk will explore how current security research relies both explicitly and implicitly on rational choice models to explain employee behaviour. An examination of rational choice theory and behaviour change demonstrates that while this delivers effective interventions in some instances there is significant evidence to demonstrate exceptions to the applicability of the theory. The talk will move on to examine social loafing (including the sucker effect and the free rider effect) as an explanation for the everyday insider threat. Finally, a range of recommendations for interventions will be identified that focus on identifiability, feedback and evaluation; personal involvement of employees; social facilitation and group cohesiveness and morals, ethics and self-concept maintenance.