Applying Maslow to Malware

Microsoft has released a report that takes a look at how different countries can maximize the benefits of the Internet by matching their cybersecurity priorities with their citizens’ needs.

According to a November post on the Microsoft Security Blog, cybersecurity is now a major concern for organizations all over the world. This is of course because of the extensive worldwide use of the Internet and computers.

Microsoft says decision makers are developing plans to ensure security and preserve the benefits of having access to broad connectivity; however, these plans vary significantly because each country is at a different stage of development.

Microsoft teamed up with analysis and advisory firm Oxford-Analytica to explore the question of how people around the world can create feasible cybersecurity plans that help them get the most out of the Internet and fulfill the needs of their citizens.

The result of this exploration is the 42-page report, Hierarchy of Cybersecurity Needs: Developing National Priorities in a Connected World. It applies Abraham Maslow’s renowned Hierarchy of Needs to this topic to illustrate a set of needs for Internet users.

As with Maslow’s original model, the formula follows a bottom-to-top pyramid of base needs that lead into higher needs. The first base need must be met before the next need level can even be considered. As lower level needs are met, higher level ones become the focus, moving further and further up to the top of the pyramid.

Using this model, countries can evaluate their own status within the cybersecurity hierarchy and develop a prioritized plan to implement Internet security measures that meet their needs.

The report uses real world examples and offers policy recommendations that decision makers can apply in their own situations. It explains how important this is for countries around the world and how it should be considered a government responsibility.

The report says, “The state has traditionally assumed responsibility for national security, citizen welfare, economic growth, public health and a range of aspects that are fundamental to the prosperity and well-being of a country. The internet has become such a pervasive part of public and private life that it is now a vital component in almost all of these areas of state responsibility.”


For more information, see the original Microsoft Security Blog post here and download the pdf of the report here