If you're a security person you're probably used to normal people not listening to you. Sometimes we know why they don't listen, but often the users get blamed for being stupid or stubborn or something else to justify their behavior. After having a conversation the other day it was noted that some of our advice could be compared to telling someone they should only trust food that has been delivered to them by a zebra.
It's meant to sound silly, because it is silly.
If you tell someone they should only trust food delivered by a zebra, they might nod and agree, some will tell you that's silly, but fundamentally nobody is going to listen. They won't listen because that advice is completely impractical. If you give impractical advice, your advice gets ignored. This gets tricky though because what I call impractical advice you may not. Things can get complicated especially when a difficult topic is being discussed. It's even harder when you have a lot of people who are self proclaimed experts but in reality don't know very much.
This is basically the story of security though. We give advice that we think is practical, normal people hear advice that makes no sense, makes their life worse, and is probably something they don't even want to do. They have two choices. Tell you they think your advice is bad, or just nod and agree while doing whatever they want. The latter is much less work. If someone tells you the advice you just gave them is bad, you're not going to think about how to give better advice, you're going to spend a lot of time convincing them why you're right and they're wrong. Smart people don't argue, they just nod and agree.
The solution to this problem is very simple to explain, but will be very hard to do. It's not uncommon for me to talk about listening as a very important thing we should being doing more of. If listening was easy, or solved as many things as I claim it would, we wouldn't have any more problems. While it is super important we listen to those we must help, it's only a small part of what we have to do. We must learn to be tactical first. You can't listen to people who won't talk to you. And if you show up demand zebra food, nobody will ever tell you anything useful. You get branded as a kook and that pretty much ends everything.
Stop demanding zebra food.
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