The NCSA Guide to PC & LAN Security


Stephen Cobb, CISSP

Chapter 14: Secure People


This chapter is about: Hacker, Ethics, and Other Human Factors

...the chapter focuses on the human aspects of computer security. These include not only that mysterious creature known as the hacker, but also such everyday phenomena as the disgruntled employee and the unsympathetic manager. We touch on the legal aspects of unauthorized computer use and talk about how to defend against what are called "social engineering" attacks. Defenses against hacking will be reviewed.

For readers who find the technical side of computing to be baffling, frustrating, even intimidating, the news is not good: Humans are even more complex and difficult to understand than computers. Even if you are enjoy the challenge of interacting with other people, taking charge of the human side of the computer security problem is not a burden to be shouldered lightly. After all, humans create the need for security, and aside from the effects of rare and random acts of nature such as lightning, tornadoes or earthquakes, humans pose the biggest threat to security. This chapter does not attempt anything so grand as a unified theory of human behavior, it merely attempts to put in perspective the human issues surrounding the need to protect and preserve valuable data and functions entrusted to personal computers.

Check out the following Hotlinks:

  • Privacy, Laws, & Ethics
    - Organizations, resources, legislation, lawsuits, infowar, hacking and alternative views, campaigns, research.

The Story So Far

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This page updated by Stephen Cobb, Summer 2002 © Copyright, 1996-2002, Stephen Cobb