About Us | Contact Us
View Cart

Report Reveals IT Help Desk Workers to Be Targets for Social Engineering

By Vigilize | Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - One Comment

Failings in security measures make the help desk the weakest link in company security.

Help desk workers have been revealed to be the weakest point of entry for criminals using social engineering and technical attacks. A report released by the SANS institute and RSA focused on the current state of security and privacy practiced by IT help desk workers.

Part of the problem was found to be how these workers are judge on performance. Emphasis is placed on the number of requests they can solve (volume) and the speed in which they can solve them (time). Little attention is given to security and correct documentation of day-to-day activities conducted within the company.

Compounding the security risk of the help desk is the finding that organizations are using only basic personal information to confirm the identity of the callers, information that is easily accessible to anyone. In order to maintain their helpfulness, many help desk workers were found to be bypassing security controls used to properly identify callers.

What may be an even greater issue is the entering and storing of sensitive information into the help desk database, including personal health information. This information is often transmitted via non-secured channels such as email. Equally as dangerous are the notes jotted down on paper by help desk employees. These notes in many cases were found to contain sensitive data.

In the end, the report concluded that the root of the problem was a considerable lack of training, tools, and technology. The report states “help desk services are a rich entry point for social engineers and technical attackers. Help desks — and their applications — hold the ‘keys to the kingdom’ to better serve user requests.”


Original article by Steve Ragan.
Read the full story here.

One Response to “Report Reveals IT Help Desk Workers to Be Targets for Social Engineering”

Comment from Microsoft Server 2016
Time 11/16/2017 at 5:22 am

Hello I wish to to share a comment here concerning you to definitely be able to inform you just how much i personally Loved this particular study. I have to elope in order to a U.S.A Day time Supper but desired to leave ya an easy comment. We preserved you Same goes with be returning subsequent function to read more of yer quality articles. Keep up the quality work.

Microsoft Server 2016

Latest News
    Thanks for being interested in our Technology Planning Webinars! This year‘s annual update to our annual Technology Planning webinar will include a panel discussion, a review of the previous years’ movies that are already available, and a discussion about alternative tactics that have arisen from recent conferences as well as the impact of the AIO […]
    Welcome Cybersecurity Conference Attendees! Thanks for joining us for the Cybersecurity Conference today! We have created this page for you to have access to the deliverables from Dan’s talk.  
    What you need to know for compliance coast-to-coast. Back in 2020 we posted an article containing links to data breach laws from each state, and it has proven to be one of our more popular posts.  Because laws surrounding the use (and abuse) of technology are always evolving, we thought it was worth taking another […]
    Why It Rhymes With SEEM (And its Not the I Before E Rule) Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . It’s the Gestalt. The idea that the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. That’s not something that is often brought […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office. Interested in one of ours […]
    Questions about China’s new disclosure laws only highlight the uncertainty about disclosure in general… An article review. China recently made waves in the security world by announcing a new set of data security laws, one of which has added new fuel to a long running debate: how and when should security vulnerabilities be disclosed…and to […]
    Four Conditions … …For Why a Network Can be Anything But a Network! Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . I have to admit that infotex is being called into engineering meetings with larger organizations these days that are NOT community based banks.  We […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office. Interested in one of ours […]
    If Zero days need Zero clicks, are there any secure devices in the mix? Tanvee Dhir explores the Pegasus spyware. Another technical post, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . Introduction Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen multiple stories regarding a powerful piece of spyware called Pegasus sold […]