Was Jeff Bezos The Weak Link In His Own Cyber Security?

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The BBC’s Chief Technology Editor, Rory Cellan-Jones, argues that humans are often (but not always) the main weakness within the cyber security landscape. There is an irony here in that Bezos’ Amazon Web Services – which powers Netflix and the wider internet – is an industry-leader in web security. Yet what came to light during his divorce and subsequent affair revelations was his phone was hacked and the biggest influence in this relationship was Jeff Bezos.

The lesson, Cellan-Jones argues, is that good cyber security hygiene is about education. More specifically:

“In other words, technology can only go so far. Good cyber-security depends on educating people not to be idiotic. The suggestion that the human factor is the weakest link is probably the biggest single cliché in the cyber-security industry. Security firms may sell all sorts of expensive tools to protect their customers from attacks, but all too often they are rendered useless when someone in the organisation clicks on a dodgy link or forgets to install a vital software update.”

But to highlight the sophistication of cyber criminality, the BBC journalist hired a top cyber security company to find out if they could ‘hack’ him and make him fall foul of a phishing scam. Within 48 hours, whilst at work at the BBC, he clicked on a BBC email from his producer and he fell victim – they had used email cloaking to access his producers’ email.

However, the main lesson from this example was to illustrate the multi-faceted dynamic of cyber criminality and the lengths – not only technologically but psychologically – that businesses need to engage with in order to create the right culture to help counter cyber crime within their respected businesses.

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