Are you Mentally Tough? Part 1

Mental Toughness is a Key Factor in Cyberattack Resilience.


In cyberwarfare, as in any conventional combat, the primary target is the mind of your adversary. The competitor having the mental strength and agility to break the will of their opponent is victorious. For this reason, strengthening the mental toughness of an organization, both as a whole and individually, must be a priority.

It is not unusual for mental toughness and stubbornness to, mistakenly, be seen as sharing similar qualities. In fact, the characteristics that define the mindset of each differ significantly.

If someone is stubborn, most often they are opinionated, outspoken, bossy or demanding. It is a dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something. You might know a person with these traits and perceive them to be mentally tough. Stubbornness is a weakness. It is a hindrance to anything constructive because it means possibly better alternatives are not considered. Such an attitude does not strengthen resilience which is a key part of a person and organization in a cyber event.

Mental toughness is an element of the human will that is inherently flawed. Even organizations with mature cybersecurity models can miss the importance of human nature or mistakenly see technology as a solution for human nature.

Many researchers have attributed mental toughness to be a significant influencing factor contributing to successful performance excellence, as well as a performance enhancer. While it can be influenced by external sources, to ultimately master the skill it must be taught.

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