Social engineering is a disturbing aspect of overall security threat analysis because it is the human element that is least in our control. Security and psychology -- once again -- go hand in hand.Roughly two years ago I wrote about a personal experience that exemplifies how salespeople can try to manipulate you using body language, bringing us to a subject close to hackers' hearts: social engineering.
Communication and manipulation are constructed of the same basic tools in our repertoire. In my experience, what changes are the following two aspects:
1. Our perspective on whether something is manipulative.
2. The actor's intent.
I believe that basic communication training is critical for those who we want to develop enough common sense to be able to avoid being "socially engineered."
Telling our employees to never give out information unless a, b, or c happens is not necessarily going to work. Even with that know-how, I can remember several occasions in which social engineering worked on me. (Of course, I only realized it years later -- beyond a weird feeling in my stomach.)
Explaining and educating people about security risks, and even specific techniques and scenarios the social engineer might use, is important. But doing so in conjuncture with communication training of the "right kind" can really make a difference.
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Gadi Evron is an independent security strategist based in Israel. Special to Dark Reading. Gadi is CEO and founder of Cymmetria, a cyber deception startup and chairman of the Israeli CERT. Previously, he was vice president of cybersecurity strategy for Kaspersky Lab and led PwC's Cyber Security Center of Excellence, located in Israel. He is widely recognized for ... View Full Bio