Are we fooling ourselves?

by todaystrainingblog

How many of you remember the song back in the 70s by Styx, ‘Fooling Yourself’? If you do then you fully understand how this relates to security. But let me go a bit further into this issue and analyze it. And if you have never heard it, then check on uTube or one of your music streaming services.

In a survey by the job site CareerBuilder, earlier this year, with 3,000 respondents, younger workers seem to have a false sense of security. But being honest, I don’t think it’s just millennials that seem to have this false sense. I have noticed, throughout my career, ignorance of security. Whether that ignorance is because of several factors;

  • Employees don’t trust management and security is an extension of management. Is there possibly an adversarial relationship between them?
  • Security is useless; they are just trying to scare us, and the company, into hiring them or turning this into a prison
  • Nothing ever happens around here, why worry
  • This is a quiet small town, neighborhood, building (Hesston, KS.)
  • No one wants what’s in our computers, office, warehouse, etc.
  • All of this security stuff just slows me down and I’m busy
  • Speaking specifically of workplace violence (WPV), it can’t happen here

Does any of those sound familiar to you security professionals? And again, it’s not just millennials that say these things. I’ve seen, heard, & noticed these excuses against having security for 33 years. And you would have thought that with the threats in the world today, these ideas would be smaller, but instead I’ve noticed a trend of them actually getting larger, and more prevalent, with people I talk too.

As for the CareerBuilder survey, below is a sample of what it said. You read these results and see if they jell together with what you know;

  • 37% of workers say they have a security guard at their workplace
  • 31% say their workplaces are not well-protected from digital hacking threats.
  • 31% of workers say their workplace is not well-protected from a physical threat
  • 22% say they do not believe their companies have emergency plans in place should such events occur
  • 22% unsure how they would protect themselves in the case of an emergency that poses a physical threat
  • 17% of workers say their workplaces are not well-protected in case of a fire, flood, or other disaster,

And then there is this last statistic;

  • Ninety-three percent of workers say their office is a secure place to work


Are we missing something here? 93% feel there workplace is secure, yet nearly a third of them have no clue to the threats involved and a quarter don’t even know if there is a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) in place! I certainly believe that there are innumerable mixed messages being sent out by the respondents of this survey.

As security professionals it is up to us to have a far better security awareness program in place.

These numbers, at least to me, are appalling. And the fact that even older workers feel this way… I would expect millennials to say these things, but older employees… this is a scary prospect.

So, even with all the other innumerable duties we must attend to, we have to develop the understanding that security is important and why it’s important. Or we’ll continue to listen to and sing along with Styx? ‘And you’re fooling yourself if you don’t believe it. You’re killing yourself if you don’t believe it’.


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

                                       I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear