It Takes “U” to Spell Information Security

“What’s Your Mother’s Maiden Name?”  Participants in a social engineering contest at the recent Defcon in Las Vegas probably didn’t ask. But judging from this CNET report, they certainly learned enough to provide the hacker community with the kinds of clues that expose computer networks to attack. 

Even after working with a supplier of embedded security devices for more than a decade, it’s unnerving to hear how easily people give up information that can lead to a security breach.  There’s no amount of software or hardware based security that can protect company assets if a hacker can find a line of attack.  Whether at work, or at home (do you shred recycling with personal information on it?) the first line of defense is at the individual level.  We all need to remind coworkers, friends and family that even innocuous information may lead to a malicious hack or identity theft.