University of Twente Student Theses


Effectiveness of social engineering interventions over time

Derksen, R. (2022) Effectiveness of social engineering interventions over time.

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Abstract:With the increase of cybercrime every year and the costs to society associated with it, there is a need to minimise the effectiveness of these crimes. Developing better security software is one side of the coin, but cybercriminals often use social engineering attacks to accomplish their goals. These attacks lure the computer user into granting access and compromising the system. Researchers have developed interventions to weapon people against social engineering attacks. This research investigates the effectiveness of various aspects of current interventions. We do so by conducting a metaanalysis and a subgroup analysis on the existing literature. Ultimately, a regression analysis is done to find the effect of time on the interventions. All studies on Scopus from 2015 till 2021 related to social engineering were scanned for relevance. Studies needed to have an experimental design with human subjects, focussing on reducing victimisation using an intervention. We found that the current interventions have a medium effect size (SMD = 0.503), but some interventions are more effective than others. Interventions with the highest effect size had a dynamic modality, included tips and warnings in combination with training material and focussed on recognising fraudulent URL’s. Interventions had a medium or high intensity. The regression analysis showed a decrease in effect size as time went by. However, the findings were not statistically significant enough to conclude that interventions lose their effectiveness over time.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Business & IT BSc (56066)
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