INFORMATION SECURITY AWARENESS TRAINING
SOCIAL ENGINEERING: SPIES AND SABOTAGE
“Social engineering” is the use of trickery to fool people into divulging confidential information or into facilitating unauthorized access into computers or accounts. Simply put, humans are easier to hack than machines. Hackers use a set of techniques that people will often fall for. Even the strongest passwords will not provide protection if people are tricked into revealing them.
Roughly 90% of malware requires a human interaction to infect. Much hacking isn’t done through technical wizardry but through trickery. Effective data security depends upon educating people about how to recognize and avoid the cons and tricks fraudsters use.
As one writer aptly states:
Social engineering and this kind of “soft” hacking isn’t particularly new, but it’s rising in popularity among even untrained and unsophisticated hackers, mostly because it’s easy to do, can net a ton of information, and, of course, the human systems set up around our technology are almost always the weakest link in the security chain. A little attention to detail and vigilance goes a long way.
Another writer explains in CSO Magazine:
People are fooled every day by these cons because they haven’t been adequately warned about social engineers. As CSO blogger Tom Olzak points out, human behavior is always the weakest link in any security program. And who can blame them? Without the proper education, most people won’t recognize a social engineer’s tricks because they are often very sophisticated.
Our training program, Social Engineering: Spies and Sabotage, is a short module (~7 minutes long) that provides a general introduction to social engineering. After discussing several types of social engineering (phishing, baiting, pretexting, and tailgaiting), the course provides advice for avoiding these tricks and scams. Key points are applied and reinforced with 4 scenario quiz questions. The course is fast, lively, and very interactive.
The module can stand alone as a short awareness piece or be fused with other topics in a longer security awareness training program.
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About TeachPrivacy and Our Training Philosophy
TeachPrivacy was founded by Professor Daniel J. Solove, the leading expert on privacy and data security law. He is deeply involved in the creation of all training programs because he believes that training works best when made by subject-matter experts and by people with extensive teaching experience.
According to Professor Solove: “Great training isn’t about slickness or tricks. It is about teaching. The goal is to make people understand, care, and remember. Great training is made with genuine passion – to make people love training, it must be made with love. Excellent substance is essential. The material must be explained clearly, understandably, and concretely. The content must be short and to the point – and it must be engaging. Slickness and gimmicks can’t compensate for lackluster substance.”
TeachPrivacy provides privacy awareness training, information security awareness training, phishing training, HIPAA training, FERPA training, PCI training, as well as training on many other privacy and security topics.
Professor Solove is a law professor at George Washington University Law School. He has taught privacy law every year since 2000, has published 10 books and more than 50 articles, including the leading textbook on information privacy law and a short guidebook on the subject. His LinkedIn blog has more than 1 million followers. Click here for more information about Professor Solove.