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Countermeasures for Social Engineering


Social engineering exploits vulnerabilities at different layers (i.e. technical, social layer) in an organizational defense structure. It is therefore important to understand how to defend against these attacks using a holistic defense approach including multiple countermeasures. The literature suggests a plethora of countermeasures, little research has however been done to assess their effectiveness in managing social engineering threats.


In this eBook we attempt to obtain a deeper understanding of how to defend against a type of social engineering attack that attempts to install malware on computers through e-mail or portable media.

We explore commonly proposed countermeasures needed to prevent this type of attack, and if any dependencies between them exist.

Through a combined method approach of surveying the literature and conducting semi-structured interviews with domain experts we identified a set of countermeasures that provide empirical input for future studies but could potentially also give organizations guidance on how to manage social engineering-based malware installation attacks.

The increased effectiveness and robustness of technical security components has made it more difficult to successfully introduce malware on computer systems using purely technical means.

Many attackers have therefore started to include social means in their malicious efforts and target the humans accessing and using the computers. These types of attacks are commonly known as social engineering attacks.


File Type: PDF
File Size: 147 KB
Total Pages: 12

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