Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Security

NCSAM Tip #5: Social Engineering Techniques and How to Avoid Them

October 7, 2011 at 5:00 am PST

Today’s NCSAM Tip is on recognizing and avoiding the most commonly used social engineering techniques. The root of the problem is simple enough: people are too trusting of content on the Internet. There is a long promoted perception of community, information sharing, free items, help, and friendliness on the Internet that has lulled many into a false sense of safety or security. Unfortunately, the reality is that just about every “con, scam, grift, hustle, bunko, swindle, flim flam, gaffle, sting or bamboozle” known is alive and well on the Internet. When you more closely examine the social engineering techniques that are used by criminals on the Internet, you see they are often the same or variations of con games and scams that go way back, and that many people are familiar with. This too gives people a false sense of security in that many believe they can identify these malicious attempts to exploit them. But, many tests of these beliefs have shown that most fail.

Instead of looking at the complicated technical details or various techniques themselves, it is easier to see the human factors they are attempting to exploit. Cisco SIO did some research of those human factors commonly exploited in 2010, and included the findings in the Cisco 2010 Annual Security Report. What we found was that regardless of the technical details or specific techniques and variations, the attackers commonly attempted to exploit a short list of human weaknesses:

Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

NCSAM Tip #1: Social Networking Safety

October 3, 2011 at 5:00 am PST

In today’s Cyber Security Awareness Month Tip of the Day we revisit a past post to once again focus on the fact that millions of individuals are victims of their own carelessness by freely posting information such as vacation plans and family photos on social networks, and by storing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as medical records and financial information on mobile devices. Users are sometimes not sufficiently educated when it comes to what types of information should be shared, and with whom they should be sharing this information.

Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

3 Easy Social Media Conversation Starters

How connected are you with your social networks? Are you finding that at times, your social channels become stale or a one-way dialog? If you’re experiencing the “silent treatment”, here are some easy ways to generate two-way conversations.

Tweet or post questions and polls: Events, activities, and launches have a unique opportunity to educate as well as create excitement and energy. Develop creative ways to poll audiences about related topics. And don’t be afraid to mix in a few casual types of questions that pertain to the event, but might be lighter in nature.

Interactions: Social media has a lot to offer to marketers. One special feature of social media is the ability to crowdsource and strengthen loyalty. Monitor social media channel feeds closely, respond quickly, and keep feeding the streams. Simple questions such as “What did you think of the keynote?” or “What interests you the most about this program?” will help start conversations. You’ll be amazed at how much audiences want to share their opinions and information.

Contests: While audiences are primarily interested in the straight forward information and updates, they often like to get involved in other types of activities. Using social channels, offer different types of contests and incentive-based opportunities. These activities do not have to have monetary values, but do need to have perceived importance. For example, preferred seating at a keynote or a meet-and-greet opportunity.

These are just some quick examples of ways to start social interactions. The key to making these ideas work is to integrate social channels together and with the rest of the marketing communications plan. Having a central “hub” like an online community or a website, will help audience members navigate all of the information and discussions more easily.

What are some creative ways you are starting conversations using social media? Share your experiences and let’s keep the social media information sharing going. And follow  my Twitter handle (@elhoust) for more social media for events best practices.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Transforming American Governance

In the midst of the debt crisis here in Washington, D.C., the nation teetered toward default, but eventually came to a compromise to avert that outcome. A recent article in The New Yorker likened the situation to “. . . members of an ordinance-disposal unit arguing about how to defuse a large ticking bomb.” Our nation faces a large—and growing—long-term fiscal imbalance driven by an aging population, which will dramatically increase healthcare and retirement costs.

The nation certainly faces other challenges: the continuing war on terror, increasing economic competition from emerging world powers like China and India, rising energy costs, environmental concerns, and other new and unknown problems and threats. Any one of these issues would provide a large enough agenda for a president and Congress. Their convergence creates an atmosphere of unparalleled complication for government management.

Overcoming these obstacles will require a “changed” government, a 21st-century government transformed to operate on demand. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Strategic Network: Music to My Ears

What do CEOS, market makers and Lady Gaga all have in common? The wisdom to know that to get ahead, or stand out, you need to drop any instincts of being reactive in favor of innovation.

In the world of technology, that means getting creative about how you use the network. Not just to keep business humming, but to create experiences. Take Lady Gaga, for instance. As Forbes reported this past week—and the New York Times reported recently—Lady Gaga is using the network to create a seamless and  compelling experience for her fan base from online to offline, wherever they are.  In fact, as Lisa Arthur reports in Forbes, “ Lady Gaga was the first artist to reach 1 billion views on YouTube. She has about 35 million Facebook fans. And, most recently, she made headlines as the first Twitter user ever to reach 10 million followers.” And the impact? According to Arthur’s article, Gaga sold 1,108,000 copies of her latest album in the US in its first week; 60 percent of those first week sales were digital downloads.

When you consider, as I mentioned in a recent blog, that  the number of devices connecting to the Internet will climb to 25 billion by 2015, that’s a lot of potential fans or customers.

Read More »

Tags: , , ,