Can We Redefine Social Engineering As A Means To Improve Security Usability? | A Conversation With Sharon Conheady


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There are plenty of big red buttons, do not enter signs, alarms, alerts, passwords, and off-limit areas — both in real life and in the digital equivalent. But who draws a line in between these any more? Do these expedients work? No! Why?

Today, our guest, Sharon Conheady, specializes in the human side of security and has socially engineered her way into dozens of organizations across the UK and abroad, including company offices, sports stadiums, government facilities, and more. She is also a member of the review board for Black Hat Events and joins us on this episode to talk about un/usable security.

How technology gets designed, built, and deployed directly impacts how effectively it gets used. In this case, we're specifically talking about how well it functions from a security and privacy perspective. How much does the user need to know to protect their systems and their data? How much should the technology know and protect the user's systems and data on their behalf?

A lot of this discussion boils down to human factors, psychology, user-centered design, and a good dose of con-artistry to explore how these other elements play against each other and, sometimes, into the hands of cybercriminals.

While this episode's conversation is driven by the theme of redefining security, in this case, Social Engineering, Sharon joins us through our coverage of the Black Hat Europe event where Sharon will be providing a locknote reviewing the findings from Day 1 of the briefings.

So, can we redefine Social Engineering as a means to improve Security Usability?

If you want to know, DO NOT LISTEN to this podcast! 😬

Sharon Conheady, Director of First Defence Information Security and a founding member of The Risk Avengers | Member of the Black Hat Events Review Board

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