Cyber Security and the Happiness Theory

img blog Cyber Security and the Happiness Theory r2

When most people think about cyber attacks, the threats somehow seem “out there,” something that would happen to other people or businesses. The threats are thought to be motivated by attackers who seek financial gain through money theft, data theft, or business disruption. 

But, what if the idea of security was considered from a more personal vantage point? Your vantage point. And, what if, by doing nothing – to effectively prevent cyber attacks – you’re inviting them? 

A cyber attack, like any attack, isn’t only about what happened, or what was taken, it’s also about how the event impacts the rest of your life. The long-term effects can sometimes be more devastating than the immediate ones. 

When you think about what most humans need to feel secure, it boils down to the big 5: Physiological, Security, Social, Esteem, and Self-Actualization needs. If you consider these basic needs and apply them to your own life – at this very moment in time – how happy, satisfied, or secure do you feel? 

You may be wondering why a cyber security firm is waxing philosophical. Don’t worry, we’ll tie it up with a bow soon. But, before we get there, let’s dive into why these basic needs are important to nearly everyone, and how having any of them threatened or unmet can turn your world upside down in an instant. 

According to snippets from an article by VeryWellMind, they wrote, “There are five different levels of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, starting at the lowest level known as physiological needs. 

Physiological needs include those that are vital to survival. Some examples of physiological needs include:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Air

In addition to the basic requirements of nutrition and air, physiological needs also include shelter and clothing.

Security and Safety Needs

At the second level of Maslow’s hierarchy, the needs start to become a bit more complex. At this level, the needs for security and safety become primary.

People want control and order in their lives. Some of the basic security and safety needs include:

  • Financial security
  • Health and wellness
  • Safety against accidents and injury

Finding a job, obtaining health insurance and health care, contributing money to a savings account, and moving to a safer neighborhood are all examples of actions motivated by security and safety needs.

Together, the safety and physiological levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs make up what is often referred to as ‘basic needs.’

Social Needs

The social needs in Maslow’s hierarchy include love, acceptance, and belonging. At this level, the need for emotional relationships drives human behavior. Some of the things that satisfy this need include:

  • Friendships
  • Romantic attachments
  • Family relationships
  • Social groups
  • Community groups
  • Churches and religious organizations

In order to avoid loneliness, depression, and anxiety, it is important for people to feel loved and accepted by others. Personal relationships with friends, family, and lovers play an important role, as does involvement in groups—such as religious groups, sports teams, book clubs, and other group activities.

Esteem Needs

At the fourth level in Maslow’s hierarchy is the need for appreciation and respect. Once the needs at the bottom three levels have been satisfied, the esteem needs begin to play a more prominent role in motivating behavior.

At this level, it becomes increasingly important to gain the respect and appreciation of others. People have a need to accomplish things, then have their efforts recognized. In addition to the need for feelings of accomplishment and prestige, esteem needs include such things as self-esteem and personal worth. People need to sense that they are valued by others and feel that they are making a contribution to the world. 

Together, the esteem and social levels make up what is known as the ‘psychological needs’ of the hierarchy.

Self-Actualization Needs

At the very peak of Maslow’s hierarchy pyramid are self-actualization needs. Self-actualizing people are self-aware, concerned with personal growth, less concerned with the opinions of others, and interested in fulfilling their potential.

‘What a man can be, he must be,’ Maslow explained, referring to the need people have to achieve their full potential as human beings.

Maslow’s said of self-actualization: ‘It may be loosely described as the full use of talents, capabilities, potentialities, etc. Such people seem to be fulfilling themselves and to be doing the best that they are capable of doing. They are people who have developed or are developing to the full stature of which they are capable.’

The basis of Maslow’s theory is that we are motivated by our needs as human beings. Additionally, if some of our most important needs are unmet, we may be unable to progress and meet our other needs. This can help explain why we might feel ‘stuck’ or unmotivated. It’s possible that our most critical needs aren’t being met, preventing us from being the best version of ourselves. Changing this requires looking at what we need, then finding a way to get it.”

Let’s say all of your needs are being met. You’ve got a fulfilling career and interesting hobbies, people admire you, you have family and friends who love and appreciate you, you’ve got money in the bank, you live in a safe neighborhood, and you’ve got a stocked pantry and running water. If so, you have a LOT to be grateful for.

But, what would happen if all of that disappeared in an instant?  

You need to look no further than February 24th, 2022 for proof that countless lives can be changed in an instant. One day people were lounging on a beach in a city on the northern coast of the Sea of Azov, and the next day they were running for their lives. We’re talking here about the war in Ukraine. 

No, we’re not suggesting that a war is headed our way – at least not the kind that involves anti-aircraft missiles – but there are other sinister threats that may be targeting you at this very moment. There are cyber wars going on all around the world, and new weapons of personal destruction are being developed at break-neck speed.   

In other words, it’s dangerous to assume that nothing can devastate the life you’ve built up over the years… especially if you aren’t actively doing anything to protect it.  

Let’s go back to Maslow’s “Pyramid of Needs.” It consists of 5 levels: At the bottom, you have physiological needs, the other levels are security, social, esteem, and at the very top of the pyramid, you have self-actualization.

The pinnacle of a satisfying life is self-actualization –  the highest level of psychological development, where personal potential is fully realized after basic body and ego needs have been fulfilled.

On a practical level, this may mean you have a job that you love and have discovered creative, physical, educational, or community pursuits that you’re passionate about. 

You are also tending to the needs of others. You make sure the kids are wearing seatbelts, your dog is on a leash, you have insurance for the house and vehicles, and you’ve got a healthcare and retirement plan. All of the bases are covered, right? 

Not so fast. 

You know that smart phone in your pocket or purse – the one that 85% of the world’s population has – it can compromise your personal identity and professional privacy without you knowing about it. Did you know that your tablet is tracking your every move, making your personal information and professional data vulnerable to attack?

How about that laptop you use to access company data? Hackers know that when corporate laptops (or laptops with work data on them) are at home, or on hotel WiFi networks, they are much easier to access. And that company computer?  It’s just one phishing email, virus click, infected removable drive, unpatched application, unsecured IoT device, unencrypted public wifi, or a single infected website visit away from an attack that can spread through a network of users faster than Covid. 

According to the US National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of small businesses that suffer a cyber attack go out of business within half a year. And, the rate at which cyber attacks against small businesses grew last year is a staggering 424%. Among the small and mid-sized businesses studied, the average amount spent getting business back to normal after a cyber attack was $955,429. That was on top of the average of $879,582 that was stolen from the polled businesses.

But, what does any of this have to do with your happiness factor? If your business is hacked it doesn’t only affect the tip of the pyramid, it affects every other level of your life. 

You know that business you owned, or that job you loved? It’s uncertain at best and gone at the worst. 

Oh and those outside interests that fulfilled you? You can no longer afford them.

The people who admired you feel sorry for you now.

Sure, you still have family and friends, but they don’t look at you the way they did before. 

Your financial security is at risk or gone. Same with your health plan. And that savings account you had just became an emergency fund.

That emergency fund will only last about 6 months. Then you may lose your home. Basic things like food, clothing, and shelter become a luxury. 

Depressing, right? 

The good news is, the downward spiral is completely preventable. 

Businesses can no longer rely on out-of-the-box cybersecurity solutions like antivirus software and firewalls. In order to effectively prevent cyber attacks (and ensure your happiness), you need to have a multi-layered cyber security plan in place. 

How multi-layered? Hold onto your hat…

Minimum Requirements –  

  • Monitoring
  • Software Patches
  • AntiVirus Updates
  • Spam Control
  • Email Archiving and Continuity
  • Critical Monitoring 24/7/365
  • Routine Network Maintenance
  • Help Desk Support
  • Advanced EndPoint Protection (EDR)
  • Virus Protection (Canadian Based)
  • A password platform
  • 2FA
  • Zero Day Endpoint Protection
  • Managed Backup (Encrypted – Canadian Data Centre)
  • Staff Education
  • Business Risk Reviews

But, if you value your business add these too… 

  • SOC
  • SIEM
  • Security Policies
  • Centralized User Management
  • C-Level Consulting
  • Vendor Risk Management (VRM) 
  • 24/7 Backup Failure Monitoring 
  • Disaster Recovery Plans
  • Redundant, Multi-Locational Backups (also known as Geo Redundancy) 
  • Testing, Verification, and Reporting
  • Employee Response Procedures and Practices 

We know these requirements can seem overwhelming, but they are nothing compared to the complexity of dealing with a cyber attack. And, you don’t have to go it alone.

At Adaptive Office Solutions, cybersecurity is our specialty. We keep cybercrimes at bay by using analysis, forensics, and reverse engineering to prevent malware attempts and patch vulnerability issues. By making an investment in multilayered cybersecurity, you can leverage our expertise to boost your defenses, mitigate risks, and protect your data with next-gen IT security solutions.

When you know your technology is being looked after, you can forget about struggling with IT issues and concentrate on running your business. By making an upfront investment in your cybersecurity, you can lower your costs through systems that are running at their prime; creating greater efficiency and preventing data loss and costly downtime. 

To schedule your Cyber Security Risk Review, call the Adaptive Office Solution service hotline at 506-624-9480 or email us at