The motivation for research on security – Nikhil Khedekar

Reflectonist- Nikhil Khedekar

User authentication forms the origin of information security, which makes IT, secure. However, it may be termed as one of the greatest weaknesses as it is the point through which attackers can gain access. As we ensure proper safeguards for our doors, gates in our homes and offices, it is essential to ensure user authentication is hack-proof. This can be a great point for research for inculcating appropriate safeguards regarding user authentication.

Potential insider threats form another important aspect of information security. These threats are classified as intentional and non-intentional. Non-intentional threats arise mainly because of mistakes, negligence of the employees/common public leading to minor/catastrophic consequences. Intentional threats, on the other hand, arise due to personal, professional feuds with the target organization involved and, in some cases, just for fun. These insider threats form a basis for research to understand the psychology or behaviour towards information security.

External threats, which mainly involve breaches, are a huge challenge to information security. The culprit here may be termed as a poorly designed security framework, poorly equipped information security personnel, etc. These breaches can result in loss of significant data which may be of great significance to an individual or an organization. Hence ensuring appropriate security measures for the prevention of breaches, should motivate information security enthusiasts to research in this area.

Weak links in the supply chain pose a huge challenge to information security.  Every organization offering a product or service, regardless of the domain, has a supply chain that is often subjected to data vulnerabilities. Integrity which is one of the important pillars of information security is compromised as sensitive data may be shared with various parties such as vendors which may result in inadvertent information leaks. Hence appropriate research can be done, to identify weak links in the supply chain and ensure the integrity of data is maintained throughout the product development lifecycle.

Internet of things, which in modern times, is referred to as the heaven of connectivity, which has diverse applications as smart-watches (E.g. Fitbit), Virtual assistant (Amazon echo). Smart homes which is another example can be a vulnerable point of an information security breach as IoT devices require data for their proper functionality. This data is often looped across a network, which can be easily tapped by outside sources. Inculcating appropriate safeguards for the protection of IoT devices motivate the need for research.

Individual responsibility is an important aspect that can make or mar information security. This states that, even if employees understand the potential risks, it is essential that they view themselves responsible for safeguarding the same. Some might say “It is not my responsibility; it is the job of information security team”. This may be a key challenge for information security professionals to imbibe responsibility across the masses regarding information security. This can motivate researchers to understand the attitude of people about undertaking responsibility. Thus, we have observed that motivation regarding research in information security can arise by potential challenges faced regarding safeguarding the same, as well as social responsibility forms an important component regarding the same.

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