Technology

Combat Social Engineering: Don’t Be the Weakest Link

Smart criminals go after the 'lowest hanging fruit.'

September 16, 2010
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

Characteristics of a weak security chain

Industry experts and government regulators agree that institutions most at risk of succumbing to social engineering tactics tend to lack:

  • Adequate policies and procedures pertaining to physical security;
  • A security awareness program that allows for training of employees at all levels; or
  • An established system of vendor and visitor tracking.

These three elements are dependent on each other to properly defend against the threat of social engineering schemes.

A deficiency in one area creates significant vulnerabilities in the others, allowing easy entry points for savvy criminals to exploit.

Of course, professional social engineers know this information, too. That’s why tactics like the “trusted vendor” scenario—which can exploit numerous vulnerabilities simultaneously—tend to be highly successful at organizations that have inadequate polices and procedures, limited security awareness training, and no formal system of tracking authorized vendors.

Next: A ‘trusted vendor’ scenario

Post a comment to this story

heroes

What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive