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In cybersecurity, the weakest link is … you

Buchanan, William J



A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Computer security relies on a great number of links, hardware, software and something else altogether: you. The greatest threat to information security is actually people. Why strive to defeat encrypted passwords stored in computers, when those computers' human users will turn them over willingly? The technique is known as social engineering. It could be a phone call at your desk “from IT” querying problems with your login details, or asking about those of our colleagues'. Or the more common technique of phishing – emails designed to solicit your credit card or login details by passing themselves off as legitimate emails from well-known banks or websites such as PayPal or eBay. This has evolved in spear phishing, in which known details about you personally gives the email even greater credibility.

Acceptance Date Oct 31, 2014
Publication Date Oct 31, 2014
Deposit Date Aug 7, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 15, 2017
Keywords Cybersecurity; spear phishing; internet security; social engineering
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