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Romance Scam Research Center

2019: US: Susceptibility to Social Engineering: Human Vulnerabilities

Schroeder, Chelsea.   Utica College ProQuest Dissertations Publishing,  2019. 27670795.


Abstract: "Environment, personality, risk perception, cognitive biases and cognitive processes, and various demographics affect an individual’s susceptibility to social engineering and risky decision making. Combinations of these factors increase vulnerability and likelihood that a person will fall for a social engineering attack. Cognitive biases will hinder an individual’s decision-making, causing him or her to believe that he or she is using accurate judgment when the decisions are in reality irrational. These biases are influenced by an individual’s personality, and additionally by their current emotional state. Further, other dispositional factors like trust and risk perception will play a role in how the individual forms their decision. In connection with the dispositional factors are state-induced factors, like cultural backgrounds and environments. Both of these elements lead to experiences that will be gathered and stored in an individual’s memories to be compared upon when making future decisions. Using the knowledge of these dispositional and state-induced factors, as well as their interactions, organizations and businesses can create targeted trainings and educations to combat the increasing and dangerous unintentional insider threat problem."

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