PROTECT – An Easy Configurable Serious Game to Train Employees Against Social Engineering Attacks

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11981)


Social engineering is the clever manipulation of human trust. While most security protection focuses on technical aspects, organisations remain vulnerable to social engineers. Approaches employed in social engineering do not differ significantly from the ones used in common fraud. This implies defence mechanisms against the fraud are useful to prevent social engineering, as well. We tackle this problem using and enhancing an existing online serious game to train employees to use defence mechanisms of social psychology. The game has shown promising tendencies towards raising awareness for social engineering in an entertaining way. Training is highly effective when it is adapted to the players context. Our contribution focuses on enhancing the game with highly configurable game settings and content to allow the adaption to the player’s context as well as the integration into training platforms. We discuss the resulting game with practitioners in the field of security awareness to gather some qualitative feedback.


Security controls Social psychology Serious games Fraud prevention Security training 



This work has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 786890 (THREAT-ARREST).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Engineering Academy (SEA) GmbHFrankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationGoethe University FrankfurtFrankfurt am MainGermany

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