UD study shows cranky employees more likely to sidestep cybersecurity

New Research from University of Delaware’s John D’Arcy suggests that negative emotions can lead employees to engage in unsafe computer behavior.

This could include using weak passwords, not using two-factor authentication, or accessing unapproved software, among other actions outside of company protocols.

The main insight of the survey was that “moods and emotions influence people’s security-related behavior,” D’Arcy said. “And these things vary from day to day, which can make people’s behavior vary from day to day.”

If an employee has a rough day, for instance, they may choose to bypass security measures such as carefully thinking over a new password or avoiding potentially dangerous websites.

D’Arcy worked with City University of Hong Kong’s Paul Benjamin Lowry to survey professionals across the U.S. The research will be available in a forthcoming edition of Information Systems Journal.

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