It’s a digital world, and cybersecurity is now a critical concern for businesses of all sizes.
With an increasing number of cyber-attacks hitting organisations of all sizes, it’s imperative for companies to take every available measure to protect their confidential information and sensitive data.
While technical measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, and encryption are important, a company's cybersecurity is also impacted by its employees' personality types, as 90% of breaches are caused by human error.
It’s reductive to think of all employees as the same, though. Indeed, some personality types may be more vulnerable to cyber attacks, while others may be better suited to prevent them.
In this blog post, we will explore the role of different personality types in protecting a company's cybersecurity, focusing on the Myers Briggs personality types.
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a widely used personality test that categorises individuals into 16 different personality types based on four dimensions:
Each personality type has unique characteristics that make them more or less susceptible to cyber-attacks.
Before we begin, it’s worth finding out your own personality type .
It's also worth considering the different forms of cyber-attack companies face. Cyber attacks can be broadly classified into three categories: social engineering attacks, malware attacks, and physical attacks.
Social engineering attacks are based on psychological manipulation, where attackers use deception to gain access to confidential information. Malware attacks, however, involve the installation of malicious software that can harm the company's computer systems or steal data. Finally, physical attacks involve physically accessing a company's computer systems to steal or damage data.
Now, let's dive into different personality types' role in protecting a company's cybersecurity.
Let's start with extroverts. Extroverts are outgoing and social individuals who enjoy being in the company of others.
However, their openness and willingness to share information can make them vulnerable to social engineering attacks.
Social engineering attacks often involve the attacker posing as a trusted individual and manipulating the victim into sharing sensitive information. Extraverts' tendency to trust others and disclose information may make them more susceptible to these types of attacks.
Therefore, it's essential to provide cybersecurity awareness training to extroverts in the company to help them recognise and avoid social engineering attacks.
On the other hand, introverts are more reserved and cautious in their interactions with others.
They are less likely to trust others and are more guarded with their personal information, and this makes them less vulnerable to social engineering attacks.
However, introverts may be more susceptible to malware attacks as they may be less likely to communicate their concerns or report suspicious activity.
As such, it's essential to encourage introverts to report any unusual activity or suspicious emails to the IT department.
Now, let's move on to the sensing/intuition dimension of the MBTI.
Sensors are individuals who rely on their senses to gather information and make decisions. They prefer concrete information and are detail-oriented.
Intuitives, on the other hand, rely on their intuition and imagination to gather information and make decisions. They are big-picture thinkers and are more concerned with possibilities than with details.
Sensors may be more vulnerable to physical attacks as they may be more likely to leave their computer systems unlocked or to write down passwords in plain sight. They are detail-oriented and may focus more on the task at hand than on the security of their computer systems.
For this reason, cybersecurity awareness training can be incredibly valuable for sensors to help them understand the importance of securing their computer systems.
Intuitives, on the other hand, may be more vulnerable to malware attacks as they are more likely to be curious and explore new possibilities.
They may be more likely to click on suspicious links or download unknown software and benefit greatly from training intuitives to help them recognise and avoid malware attacks.
Moving on to the thinking/feeling dimension, thinkers are individuals who make decisions based on logic and objective analysis. They prioritise rationality and accuracy over emotions.
Feelers, on the other hand, make decisions based on their emotions and values. They prioritise empathy and harmony over logical analysis.
Thinkers may be more vulnerable to social engineering attacks as they may be less attuned to the emotions and motivations of others.
They may be more likely to trust information that appears logical and objective, without considering the possibility of deception. In this case, training thinkers to help them recognise the emotional and psychological tactics utilised in social engineering attacks can be very helpful.
Feelers, on the other hand, may be more vulnerable to social engineering attacks as they may be more susceptible to temptations based on empathy and emotion.
They may be more likely to trust information that appears to align with their values or emotions without considering the possibility of deception and require education to help them recognise when their nature is being used against them in social engineering attacks.
Finally, let's turn our attention to the judging/perceiving dimension of the MBTI.
Judgers are individuals who prefer structure and organisation. They are decisive and prefer to plan and execute tasks in a structured manner.
Perceivers, meanwhile, prefer flexibility and spontaneity. They are adaptable and prefer to respond to situations as they arise.
Judgers may be more vulnerable to physical attacks as they may be more likely to adhere to established security protocols without considering the possibility of deviation or innovation.
They may be less likely to adapt to new security threats or situations that require improvisation and need cybersecurity awareness training to help them recognise the importance of adapting to new security threats and situations.
Perceivers may be more vulnerable to malware attacks as they may be more likely to experiment with new software or technology without considering the potential security risks.
They may be less likely to adhere to established security protocols or to recognise the potential risks associated with new software or technology. Therefore, it is helpful to regularly remind them that every piece of software contains risks, and train them to spot them.
With a deeper understanding of the types of personalities in your organisation, you’re better equipped to take measures to reduce risk, but you’ve only just started on your journey to a cyber-secure workplace.
At Bob’s Business, we build cybersecurity awareness training solutions informed by behavioural psychology to give everyone in your team the tools they need to spot and stop attacks.
We’d love to show you how affordable our proven training solutions can be for your organisation. Book a slot to talk to us now.