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Prevent Social Engineering Attacks | Consider This


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Human beings are magnificent creatures. In some ways, you could say we are the most advanced creatures on the planet. Now, I don’t know if I would go so far as that, (I mean, some animals seem to have a far better grasp of architecture than humanity, relative to their brains), but we have definitely done some things worth praising over the last few hundred years. Not the least of which is the invention and subsequent sustaining of the digital age! Unfortunately, however, every good orchard comes with a few bad apples in the bunch, and human kind is far from a perfect source group. Once again, I’ll be here playing the part of Jiminy Cricket to all you curious individuals out there. Today’s topic: Prevent social engineering attacks from happening to you, the human factor in security, and multi layer authentication.

Social Engineering – Not Something New


When I say social engineering, I’m not talking about politics or some form of city planning and organization. I’m thinking more along the lines of battle tactics that have been around before even the written word. Whenever a person desired something that might not have belonged to him or her, new methods for snatching that desire were constantly devised. Even if you don’t think so, you know exactly what I’m talking about.


Have you ever heard of a little place called Troy? Or maybe you’re more classical, and you tend to favor older gentleman, such as Homer or Virgil? Even if your exposure to the subject comes solely from Brad Pitt and his flowing, golden locks, I’m positive that you know where I’m going with this: The Trojan Horse.


The Greek soldiers packed themselves into a giant wooden horse; an offering to the gods, and the Trojans brought it into their town center, praising it as an image of their victory over the Greek invaders. With thanks to Trojan hubris, the Greeks were able to sneak into the impregnable city and raze it to the ground. The Trojans, who had their own form of multi layer authentication with their high walls, secured gates and rotating guard rounds, were destroyed because they overlooked the cunning nature of their enemy. Whether or not the story is historically accurate (Spoiler Alert: it’s not), it serves as a popular reminder of both our weaknesses as individuals, and the evils that have plagued our society since before we even knew how to properly record it.


It’s not something that you haven’t heard before. Whether it comes to a head in digital security or protecting the money and other valuables hidden away within a bank vault, our society has always placed heavy emphasis on being wary of external infiltration. Of course, there is a good reason for this.


However, consider this: focusing solely on external sources is not a perfect solution to prevent social engineering attacks. Social engineering is all part and parcel to the human factor. This is the same source for concern in modern times as it was so many ages ago. This emphasis against infiltration at play here is one that often originates from within a given company or organization. What is sometimes overlooked is that issues of this nature come from inside a company even more often than from external sources. So when you are spending so much effort watching the doorways (or guarding the gates, so to speak) and inspecting unusual individuals, you are often overlooking the familiar faces and individual employees who present just as much of a risk.


The Human Factor: First Step to Prevent Social Engineering Attacks


Ponemon Institute LLC published a study about The Human Factor in Data Protection, which centered primarily on the notion of the individual in relation to data breaches in various organizations. According to their research of 709 IT and IT security practitioners, 78 percent responded that their organizations experienced a data breach due to negligent or malicious employees. That’s a staggering amount. That means only 22 percent of those individuals found data breaches to be caused primarily through external sources.


That’s the heart of the problem here. The human factor often goes unconsidered or is undervalued in favor of protecting the organization from external attack. In today’s digital world, loss or breach of data can cost a company more than just the price of reparations. Protecting from external attack is only a single layer of protection. What most organizations truly need is a multi layer authentication solution to protect from outside infiltration, while preventing internal missteps as well. For a start, however, the Ponemon Institute does provide a series of risky practices to avoid, according to the results of their study. Common knowledge or no, these practices are best avoided when working to prevent social engineering attacks while securing both your data and your organization:



Multi layer Authentication – A Solution that Will Help


Determining the right multi layer authentication solution for your organization is a crucial step to preventing internal and external lapses in security. There are costs associated with every solution, even if you were to partner with your organization’s developers to create your own. For an adequate return on investment, the best practice is to explore options that provide you with maximum-security options at an optimal price.


We’ve talked here before about 5 Easy to Maintain I.T. Solutions that might shed some light on ways to secure your organization within your budget. Consider this: with every solution in place, you still need to enforce protocols in a way that will allow your end users to do their job while still operating in a secure manner. What you truly need is a multi layer authentication solution that allows complete customization of user privileges and access rights.


When an individual is beaten, it’s important to have safeguards in place to secure the infrastructure from any additional fallout. The human factor introduces unpredictable scenarios into a given environment, and an appropriate multi layer authentication solution actively provides methods of containing any issues inherent in that introduction.


With the prevalent social mindset of the current digital age in combination with the human factor in security, there are constantly new things to consider when attempting to prevent social engineering attacks. Like Pinocchio’s hopping friend, we are here to help you make the most informed decisions to combat today’s worst forces. If social engineering and the human factor is a cause for concern in your organization, installing a multilayer authentication solution may be the panacea to cure what ails you.


I’d love to hear from you: comment below to discuss my considerations. Don’t forget to share or retweet us if you liked the article!


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Christopher Perry

Author: Christopher Perry

Christopher is a Technical Support Engineer and content generator here at PistolStar, Inc. He has a Master’s Degree in English from SUNY Albany, and enjoys reading and writing about all things: especially poetry, science fiction and fantasy. Christopher’s daily tasks see him using his customer service and IT experience to improve written content for PistolStar, Inc., while working with customers to provide the best experience possible.


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