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The tenets of good information security practice should take a leaf from social engineering.
Social engineering was commonly used to trick users into opening malicious links or attachments but it could also be used to change conventional thought on security, said John Proctor, director of cyber resilience at IT outsourcing and consulting firm CGI.
"Social engineering is only bad if we let it bad," Proctor said at the SC Congress Canada. "[Humans] are only the greatest weakness if you let them be."
Citing the success of Canadian anti-smoking campaigns that impelled young people not to pick up the habit, Proctor said the same can be done for security.
The goal was to "get inside" the heads of workers and adolescents, and to make security interesting.
He recommended instituting measures ranging from quizzes and tests all the way to challenges with prizes. This could include a competition to be the first employee to walk over to a co-worker's unlocked computer to send an email from their account without them knowing.
The key, Proctor said, is to create value, connect security with social norms, and, most importantly, offer employees feedback of their progress.
He added that it is important to make employees aware of all the personal information about them that may be publicly available on the web.
This article originally appeared at scmagazineus.com
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