Internet Security Awareness: Who is a social engineer?

Making the society aware of the potential threats on the internet, irrespective of its advantage to mankind is a very important exercise to be carried out in our society not just once in a while, but on a daily basis if possible. This is therefore the reason why members of staff at Paritie Dynamic Enterprise Limited have taken it upon themselves to always create a platform where we meet with people in other firms or parastatals (Government and private) to create awareness of certain habits that can jeopardise our security on the internet.

As part of this exercise, we headed all the way down to Federal Fire Service (FFS) Tudun-Wada, Minna, Niger State to let them know the importance of placing priority on the kind of activities on the internet. The speaker who is the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at Paritie Dynamic Enterprise Limited Mr Nnamdi Okoro started the lecture by giving an introduction to what Social Engineering is and reiterating that Social engineering in the context of information security is the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. Social Engineering works with the idea of Psychology and sociology which is the science of behavior and mind and study of the society respectively,
He went further to let them know that Hackers have different motives and are not bad people as perceived in the public domain. In case you did not know, here is an overview of different types of hackers;

  • The Grey Hat Hacker: is a hacker or computer security expert that may sometimes violate laws or typical ethical standards but does not have the malicious intent typical of a black hat hacker.
  • The White Hat Hacker: is a computer security specialist who breaks into protected systems and networks to test and assess their security procedures. They use their skills to improve security measures by exposing vulnerabilities before malicious hackers (known as black hat hackers) can detect and exploit them.
  • The Black Hat Hacker: is a person that attempts to find computer security vulnerabilities and exploit them for personal financial gain or other malicious reasons.
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Some of the highlight of this sensitisation workshop includes some of the common social engineering attack methods such as Dumpster diving, Pre-texting, phishing, physical entry and enticement and the emphasis on the need for continuous awareness of these trends that could have a negative impact on us directly or indirectly.

In conclusion, the Commandant appreciated the effort of our organisation towards improving their know how of the subject matter and called on his staff to be vigilant . There was also a call for the participants to always be security conscious and be careful how they share sensitive information about themselves, their work, their family members and even their friends on the internet as that could make them targets.

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