Social-Engineering Countermeasures



Knowing how to combat social engineering is critical for any certified ethical hacker. There are a number of ways to do this.
Documented and enforced security policies and security awareness programs are the most critical component in any information security program. Good policies and procedures aren't effective if they aren't taught and reinforced to employees. The policies need to be communicated to employees to emphasize their importance and then enforced by management. After receiving security awareness training, employees will be committed to supporting the security policies of the organization.
The corporate security policy should address how and when accounts are set up and terminated, how often passwords are changed, who can access what information, and how policy violations are to be handled. Also, the policy should spell out help desk procedures for the previous tasks as well as a process for identifying employees—for example, using an employee number or other information to validate a password change. The destruction of paper documents and physical access restrictions are additional areas the security policy should address. Lastly, the policy should address technical areas, such as use of modems and virus control.
One of the advantages of a strong security policy is that it removes the responsibility of employees to make judgment calls regarding a hacker's request. If the requested action is prohibited by the policy, the employee has guidelines for denying it.
The most important countermeasure for social engineering is employee education. All employees should be trained on how to keep confidential data safe. Management teams are involved in the creation and implementation of the security policy so that they fully understand it and support it throughout the organization. The company security awareness policy should require all new employees to go through a security orientation. Annual classes should be required to provide refreshers and updated information for employees.
Another way to increase involvement is through a monthly newsletter with security awareness articles.

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