SANS is an organisation that does a lot of security research as well as other things, and they have a good reputation for their work. They’ve just published a report showing the top 20 internet security risks. They point out that social engineering is one of the biggest risks at the moment. Social engineering is the term used to describe how people effectively trick (or otherwise convince) others to provide sensitive details.
There’s a lot of detail in this report and it’s well worth reading. Below are a few bits of information from the report and it’s just not possible to summarise it all here. Have a read through it if you have time.
- Web applications are vulnerable to being hacked and information misused or stolen.
- People can be manipulated
- The following applications are the most vulnerable:
- Web Browsers
- Office Software
- Email Clients
- Media Players
- Unencrypted laptops are a risk to losing large amounts of data
- Instant messaging and peer-to-peer programs are a risk to businesses
The full report is here. It’s long and very detailed, and well worth your time in reading it.