Human Error and Automation

According to a major cybersecurity firm, 85% of data breaches are still the result of human error. This conflicts with our mental image of the brilliant but evil hacker using cutting edge technology to overcome sophisticated cybersecurity measures.

It’s the password on a Post-it stuck to the computer monitor, the panicked click on an email purporting to be a receipt for a surprising large expenditure, or the official-sounding request for banking information that can lead to manufacturers’ data breaches. Malware attacks, ransomware, and even remote takeover of systems can follow.

Vulnerabilities in the machine

Malicious code can be very powerful. Machines don’t have common sense to guard them against harmful actions. There is no point at which your robot will think, “Gee, should I really be sending this file to an unfamiliar address?” unless that response is programmed in.

There is also no point at which your machine will have to say, “But they said they were the FBI! I thought I had to tell them that information.”

People should use common sense, but bad actors can use that common sense against human beings. Making a message convincing is all it takes. Or looking for Post-its.


Security can be programmed into machinery. Require strong passwords or switch to fingerprint and other biometric systems. Install strong filters and systems that require regular password updates.

But bear in mind that these stronger machine measures can result in human error. For example, a system that requires strong unmemorable passwords which are frequently changes and cannot be used for multiple login situations can goad humans into writing down their passwords in a public place, or discussing their password tricks publicly. Knowing that an administrative assistant uses her home address plus a series of rotating numerals is equivalent to knowing her password.

Make sure your human staff understand the potential consequences of cyberattacks. Make cybersecurity everyone’s business, not something the IT department does to make everyone else’s life difficult.

If your problem isn’t about security, but requires service and support for your Rexroth industrial motion control systems, we are the people to call. We are Rexroth specialists. Call (479) 422-0390 for immediate support.

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