People & Security
Education Level: Basic
Accurate assessment of risk is vital for effective cybersecurity, yet numerous studies show that perceptions of risk vary considerably, between demographic groups and along gender lines. Leveraging established research in areas like cultural theory of risk perception, plus original research by the authors, this session presents evidence of a “white male effect” leading to underestimation of technology risks. Could this account for the persistent insecurity of digital product design? Does it undermine efforts to protect information systems from criminal abuse? Given that most cybersecurity professionals are males who tend to see more risk in technology than their peers, the researchers explore the causes of white male effect, then suggest strategies for countering its influence, such as increasing diversity in technology companies and the cybersecurity workforce.