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October 2008

Combat social engineering the 'Carnegie' way

A best seller from the 1930s provides timeless social engineering insight for security professionals. I want to thank Kevin Mitnick, Ira Winkler, Bruce Schneier and Michael Santarcangelo for bringing to light the challenges we face with social engineering. In their books and talks, they remind us that despite cool new tools and technologies, humans will always be the weakest security link and prey for fraudsters. However, the best book on social engineering has really nothing to do with security and was originally published in 1936: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It should be required reading for all security professionals. His message is invaluable on many levels: "When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity." Carnegie didn't write his book for con artists, but if you put your black hat on you will see how his advice could readily be used by today's ...

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  • Information security professionals have their say

    Information Security magazine's Security 7 Award winners write personal essays on topics ranging from perimeter security, information sharing, physical and logical security convergence and progress made in the industry.