Why does the help desk want your password?

While at work, you receive a call from Brian from the company help desk in New York. Brian informs you that during the backup process last night, your user account was apparently damaged during the file transfer. To resolve the issue, Brian asks for your username and password so he can login and recover the damaged files. What kind of security problem is this?

A) Security patch

B) Malicious software

C) Spyware

D) Social engineering

The answer: D) Social engineering

Brian isn’t from the help desk, and his name probably isn’t Brian. Social engineering is a common exploit that uses your knowledge against you. It’s a security risk to give your password to anyone, and help desk professionals have ways to work with your information without putting data at risk.

Want to know more? Watch “Security Preventive Maintenance.”

The security of an organization is ultimately only as good as its people and its processes. In this video, we’ll discuss the importance of patching systems and training the user community. We’ll also learn about social engineering and discover ways to address social engineering situations.