You probably know Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Though we understand it as a statement of the cruelty of fate and the Universe, it actually has a deeper meeting for those who design systems that involve a human factor.
Taken this way, Murphy’s Law can be summed up as: “If there are two ways of doing something, one of which will result in catastrophe, someone will eventually do it that way.”
Rather than being pessimistic, it simply tells us that it’s important to design systems that make it easy for the user to do the right thing — especially when the “wrong thing” has serious consequences.
For example, in the recent data breach announced by Landry’s Restaurants, hackers targeted their point-of-sale machines with malware — a common thread in many recent security incidents. But hackers were unsuccessful in actually infecting the POS machines that process credit cards. Rather, they infected the order entry terminals, where the server inputs food and drink orders.
Normally, this wouldn’t be a huge problem — unless you’re concerned about hackers knowing that you ordered one too many half-price margaritas. But, these order-entry machines also had a card reader attached, meant for swiping brand loyalty cards. And of course, since “anything that can go wrong will go wrong,” some servers accidentally swiped credit cards on the order-entry machines, where the hidden malware was waiting to skim the card numbers and send them off to waiting hackers in parts unknown.
This breach underscores the need to design systems that make it easy for users to “do the right thing”, especially in high-pressure situations (like the dinner rush at a busy restaurant).
For instance, do you make it easy for your company to dispose of old IT assets that may contain sensitive or protected information? Don’t leave it up to Murphy — choose a solution that will keep your data secure with minimal hassle.
CyberCrunch offers convenient choices for disposing of your old electronic equipment, including mail-back service, scheduled pickups, and lockable on-site containers that can be swapped out as needed. Contact us today to discuss how we make it easy to keep your data secure.