[BreachExchange] Why organizations need to create a new role: the Behavioural Intelligence Officer

Audrey McNeil audrey at riskbasedsecurity.com
Tue May 22 18:59:13 EDT 2018


With the advent of increased cyber security related threats, the majority
of attacks point to one target: and that is the human element. Examine any
survey relating to cyber security threats faced by organizations from
Ransomware to Phishing and these attacks all have a common target; the
human who will inadvertently trigger the attack.

Organizations are battling on a daily basis to keep users educated through
awareness programs, technology learning systems, etc., and yet successful
attacks continue unabated.

The time has now come for organizations to reconsider the approach taken to
prevent attacks on systems. Applying human behavioural science to
 understanding why a user would be enticed to act on an email or social
engineering bait to provide an attacker an open doorway to the company’s
systems is required.

This cannot happen by the organization’s user population attending a
training session or introducing some new costly technology but, instead,
requires the creation of a new job role: the Behavioural / Behavioral
Intelligence Officer (BIO). The BIO will need to bring in behavioural
skills to explore why attacks on end users are proving successful even with
state of the art security solutions in place. The role of the BIO position,
therefore, would be to continuously analyse human behaviour through cyber
security related user education programs and simulated cyber attacks in an
organization using baiting techniques to determine risk exposure. Another
critical function would be information gathering from various threat
intelligence feeds to determine correlation to human behaviour.

What skills would the Behavioural Intelligence Officer need to bring to the
table? First off, behavioural science knowledge know how as the main
competency, supported by information security knowledge with accompanying

It is to be noted that although the main focus would be understanding
employee behaviour as it pertains to information security, other areas of
importance include understanding why human errors occur in the IT
environment and developing remediation approaches for helping correct this.

The Behavioural Intelligence Officer would report to both the CISO and CIO
as intelligence gathered would be of critical importance to both parties.
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