Always Remember 'T.A.S.K'

Training, Awareness, Skill Set, Know-How.

As per the post's title, my motto (yes, this Is solely mine- unless copied, you will not find It anywhere online) pertaining to social engineering Is pretty simple: "T.A.S.K". Believe me, If you haven't applied this effectively, It can be quite an arduous "Task" to Identify, evaluate and fend off a social engineering attack! 

Unfortunately there are no hard and fast rules nor any textbook methods to prevent social engineering In Its entirety. Each attack vector Is different to some degree and If you're not trained to see the warning signs there and then, you could be handing over critical Information or perform an action you're not supposed to do, without even realizing!

T.A.S.K Is defined as follows:

T- Training

A- Awareness

S- Skill set

K- Know-how

To give you an Insight and a clear understanding of what's Involved and how you should apply each one accordingly, I shall briefly cover "T.A.S.K" respectively, beginning with Training. This can be viewed from both a personal and business perspective.


This Is where It all begins. Whether you're viewing this from a personal or a professional (business) standpoint, It's vital to receive the appropriate training to help Identify and stop a social engineering attack before It proceeds further. 

However, It's not as simple as organizing a meeting at work, and having every employee listen to the advice given by the social engineering expert. How so? Well, "how effective and accurate Is the training? How competent Is the person In delivering the Information In a clear and comprehensible manner?". 

There's no purpose In being lectured If the speech Is Inaccurate, cannot be understood and the trainer's skill set and knowledge Is at a minimum. If It's your workplace that you wish to protect, be sure that the person who will train your staff, Is well and truly capable In doing so. 


You and/or your workplace personnel may have received all the training they need In a very accurate and effective fashion to combat social engineering attacks, but what happens If a handful of people were half asleep during the lecture? Or they were playing around with their cell phone at the time and paying no attention? 

"Training Is one thing, being aware and absorbing the Information given, Is something else"
You can't give what you don't have , meaning If your awareness levels are next to zero, all the training In the world will have no Impact on your capacity to be switched-on during a social engineering attack. 

"Stay alert when being trained, take notes and If In doubt, ask questions". Reiterate everything you've learnt and documented, until you're "fully aware" of what you were told. 


Now that you've received the Training and you were well Aware to absorb It to It's full potential, this Is where your skill set "begins" to develop. Notice how I've quoted "begins?". That's because you CANNOT, and will not acquire the skill set over a session or two of social engineering lectures. 

"It takes a lot of time and real-life experiences to build your skills to the point of becoming an expert yourself". Every SE Is different, no two are a carbon copy of each other, so the more social engineering attacks you come across, the better your skill set becomes. 

To help move things along, request a few friends or work colleagues to SE you at some random dates and times. It could be anytime between now and 6 weeks down the track. Take note of how effective you handled the attack and where you can Improve.


After, and only "after" you've acquired all the above, namely the Training, Awareness and Skill Set In their respective order, will you have the Know-How to defend against social engineering attacks on every level. 

"T.A.S.K" works hand In hand- you cannot Ignore one and skip to the next. They need each other to achieve the end result of formulating the perfect Ingredient, that eventually solidifies your social engineering defense mechanism. 

When you're at this (Know-How) stage, you'll find that It all comes together naturally. That Is, It's not something that you need to sit there and think about, but rather you'll act Instinctively when you're experiencing an SEing attack. 

Now that you have "T.A.S.K" under your belt, and on the grounds that you're engaged In a business/workplace environment, It's crucial to pass your knowledge to the applicable personnel by way of lecturing during scheduled meetings.