What do you think when hearing “social engineering”?
Something related to building communities or designing social networks with advanced technology.
No, it’s not something like that. Social engineering refers to something more toxic than that. It includes all techniques and tactics aimed at falling prey to knowing specific information; most likely, it’s sensitive to perform a particular action. Once you reveal this information, the attacker will conduct unlawful acts.
But what does this mean for you as a business owner? Is this considered a threat to your business operations?
That’s what we will discuss today. Keep reading.
What is Social Engineering?
A lot of people think this technique is about lying to people, “like pretending that I am a customer service employee from a bank,” to get confidential information about your bank account or deceive people into stealing something.
But it needs to be corrected.
Social engineering describes a broad range of cyber risks and malicious attacks accomplished through human behavior or naive interactions.
So, it’s about manipulating a person to make an error to gain unauthorized access to private information and valuables. The attackers are more trained and professional to exploit human nature.
Social engineering is an art that depends on studying people’s personalities to know how to get what you want quickly.
How does Social Engineering Work?
Now you might ask how these frauds make people trust them to share information that will definitely be used against them.
Here are the most typical methods that attackers employ to take advantage of their victims:
In this technique, the attacker claims that he works for a specific organization to gain the victim’s trust and completes the trick with a false justification.
Unlike pretexting, which implies false justification, the attacker makes a false promise to entice the victim to do something prompted by curiosity and greed. In this case, attackers lure users into capturing them in a trap while stealing their personal information or sending viruses or malware to inflict their system.
For example, catchy and flashy banners promise to gain hundreds of dollars by just clicking or doing something unrealistic— or in a real-life where people will see them, like in bathrooms.
Quid pro quo
It happens when someone asks for something in exchange for something else. Quid pro quo means “something for something” in Latin.
In this case, the attacker threatens people to provide sensitive information for compensation— like being an HR manager in a corporate where the victim wants to work and asking for payment to get hired.
How to Protect Your Organization from Social Engineering
As social engineers depend on our human feelings, you need a clear roadmap to immunize your employees to react appropriately or even stop reacting to malicious activities. Here are the most important practices to consider when protecting your organization from potential cyber risks.
- Design regular training for your employees: The holes attackers exploit to get into networks are human. The more your staff is educated, the less impact even the most sophisticated scammers will have. As a business owner, you must inform your employees of the best practices to avoid this situation, such as not opening suspicious emails or downloading attachments without checking with the sender. The good rule of thumb is to ask your employees to ignore any email that comes from an anonymous.
- Implement security policies: Set security policies that outline the acceptable use of company resources, password management, and reporting procedures for security incidents. From time to time, follow up with your employees to ensure they realize these policies and encourage them to talk with you about any spacious activities.
- Use multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA adds an extra layer of protection to your accounts, magnifying security measures and making it harder for attackers to gain access.