Newsroom

11 Feb 2019

PSA TEC 2019 Guest Blog:Security’s Biggest Barrier

TEC 2019 is the premier education and networking event for all professional systems integrators in the security and audio-visual markets. This year’s event pivots around a changing market and ways to stay relevant within the industry. 

By Eva Doyle | Founder | The Reluctant Leader


Eva Doyle | Founder | The Reluctant Leader

When it comes to cybersecurity, the greatest difficulty isn’t the physical barriers.  It isn’t the password length.  It’s the people, the everyday users, who have to follow the security protocols.

Sure, some are hard not to follow, such as swiping your badge to get a door to open.  But no matter how many signs you display about “no piggybacking,” someone will still do it.  People can be ingenious in how they find ways around security issues.  It’s amazing how many trusting folks share their passwords out there.

What’s to be done with these people?  Well, you can’t hit them with a hammer and stuff them in a sack, no matter how tempting that may be.  You need to start to see education and marketing as vital parts of your overall security plan.  Both your education efforts and your marketing campaigns need to engage people’s hearts as well as their brain.

People love stories, and security-related stories can be entertaining.  The consequences can be enormous, and sharing some sense of that consequence can make people sit up and go “wow.”  The trick is to find and tell stories that people will want to remember and share.  Stories that have some element of humor in them are usually winners.

Regular marketing can help keep people aware of security issues and what they need to do about them.  The more engaging (dare I say “fun”) this is, the more effective it will be.  Consider creating little quizzes and offering prizes.  Catch people in the act of doing security well and leave a “fun pack” of M&Ms on their desks.  Use rhyme to make your point.  I once complained to Southwest Airlines about a wet bag, and they replied with a poem:  “We’re sorry your bag got wet, while you were flying our jet.”

Poems, quizzes, and prizes can help humanize security efforts.  The more comfortable users are with the security staff, the better.  It Is amazing, AMAZING, what people will tell you when they feel safe doing so.  Have I got some stories…

Sometimes people shy away from security practices because they seem so onerous.  But too often some well-meaning colleague will over-interpret the security behavior needed. One of my favorite analogies is seeing a 15-mph school sign from the interstate.  Just because you can see the sign in a nearby neighborhood doesn’t mean the interstate traffic has to slow down.  But I have seen people extend security guidelines to such a ridiculous extreme.  Have I got some stories for you…

Through education and marketing, sharing stories and reaching out to people’s hearts, the security professional can ensure that security measures will be followed more often than not.   The people will always be your biggest obstacle, but they can also be your best advocate.


Attend Eva’s Session at TEC

Strangling Them Won’t Help:  More Effective Strategies for Dealing with Difficult People 

Monday, March 11 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Who dreads going to work because they must deal with a difficult person, be it a subordinate, colleague or customer? Everyone will find themselves in that situation at one time or another. Having (non-violent) strategies in place ahead of time is crucial, especially in this industry. Getting people to accept and work with the security procedures can be critical to your success. Or, perhaps you sense that others see you as difficult? You may be looking for ways to turn that impression around. Let’s face it, most of us have been the “difficult” person at some point in our careers. In this session, you will learn three powerful strategies that you can employ immediately to diffuse the difficult person (or stop being one!). This session will explore how to ask questions effectively to get the answers you need. Participants will use a checklist to help you sort through your own emotions and thoughts that dealing with difficult people can bring up. This session will also review body language techniques that will help bring home your message.

Register Now!


About Eva

Eva Doyle, MBA, spent the bulk of her career in software development or technical training organizations, both in the US and overseas.  After watching the chaos when the best engineer was promoted to management, she wrote her book, “The Reluctant Leader,” to help smooth that process.  Her goal was to provide practical, insightful advice that both new and experienced leaders could immediately put to use.  In addition to her leadership work, she volunteers at the Dumb Friends League and the Women’s Bean Project.  Her “fun fact” is that she was one of the first computer instructors on board the QE2.