This photo depicts myself on stage about to perform a keynote in front of about 800 people fighting the mayhem technology gnome that somehow entered my laptop!
Psychology and technology
Technology is advancing at an incredible rate; studies reveal that there were approximately 15 billion devices in 2018 and an incredible 50 billion this year! In a few years, billions of devices and people will be connected in various forms, from personal fitness trackers, smarthomes, smartphones, telematics, appliances, and many other areas. All of these objects will be pushing data into the world, data that must be managed and controlled.
From a psychological perspective, we are on information overload; current advances in technology are forcing us to “live” a significant part of our lives in the virtual environment; whether it is requesting a ride from the Uber app, ordering food online, booking and managing airline and other travel documents through our phone, controlling our homes heat and lock mechanisms remotely, and the list continues. All of this “living” we do in the virtual world has left us more detached and removed from the human element of our society. So, as professionals in your respective fields, you might be asking, how does this affect me? Well, the answer is clear, all companies in our industry are at risk, let me explain further.
Researching the psychological aspects of deviant and criminal behavior is one of my core academic interests and one that I have been heavily involved with throughout the years. This topic is so fascinating it became the core foundation of my book, The Psychology of Fraud. One conclusion I can draw based on my research is that the environment does shape behavior, whether that behavior is positive or negative. Thus, companies should look for gaps and vulnerabilities where threats can penetrate, and develop focused defenses in these areas. This is based on what I term, Opportunity Theory, which stems from the sociological school of criminology. Opportunity Theory states that people will exploit an opportunity only if it is presented to them, they will not actively seek out deviance. Opportunity Theory has been proven credible on other areas, such as studies of road rage which indicate there is a direct relationship between road rage and increased opportunity while driving.
The message is clear, the trajectory of technology will force companies to explore new methods of counter fraud, but at the very core of these strategies should be the reduction of opportunity, which will fill gaps in vulnerabilities.
And, why is it with all of this technology sometimes my slides don’t advance; can someone figure that one out!