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What Is Social Engineering and How Can It Affect Your Business?

social engineering

What Is Social Engineering and How Can It Affect Your Business?

Terms like phishing and malware have become very common terms these days because of their widespread use online. Did you know that these activities are but a small part of a much bigger operation known as social engineering?

Definition of Social Engineering

The term might be new but the practice has been going on for centuries. It’s the infiltration of something secure, intending to acquire information or secure access through cunning means. With the use of modern technology, social engineering is now possible with the victims not even knowing. If you are caught unprepared, as a result, this could potentially lead to the downfall of your business.

External Threats in Social Engineering

Businesses these days rely heavily on technology across all operations and as a result, it makes our life easier. This gives social engineers vast opportunities to trick people into providing all sorts of information, such as the following.

Phishing

Phishing is by far the most prevalent form of social engineering attack. It is a very straightforward kind of trickery, and that simplicity is also the reason why it is so effective. Through an authentic-looking email, the hacker would take victims to websites that look real and ask them to log in, which many people would do without a second glance. Just like that, you would just as well be giving the hackers the keys to your network.

Spear Phishing

This kind of social engineering attack is a highly targeted version of phishing. It is directed at specific victims and involves a great deal of preparation, making use of contacts and references very familiar to the targeted victim, making the scam almost imperceptible.

Baiting

Just as the term suggests, this strategy is all about enticing the victim to fall for the bait. There are many approaches to this, like telling them they won something then asking to click on a link to claim the prize, or letting them know that their computer has been infected and again, getting them to click on a link that will supposedly fix the problem.

Internal Threats in Social Engineering

Once a hacker is in the system, there are countless ways that they can steal information or wreak havoc on your business. So getting their foot in the door is of the utmost priority for many of these devious social engineers.

Doing this physically is not as difficult as it might seem. One of the commonly used methods is tailgating or entering the premises on the pretense that they are an authorized entity. Many hackers also take advantage of what they can glean from public information, which is surprisingly a lot, especially if they have the patience to do a regular observation of the target area, or are willing to go dumpster diving.

How to Keep Your Business Safe from Social Engineering Threats

It’s quite scary to think that many use social engineering tactics today, but with awareness and the presence of mind, you can easily avoid becoming a victim. Simple practices like refraining from opening suspicious-looking emails and attachments would be very helpful. It is also advisable to implement multifactor authentication in all your systems and to keep your antivirus software updated.

In conclusion, as a business owner, it would be in your best interest to have all employees undergo training that will equip them with the tools and skills needed to circumvent any social engineering attack. You can find out just how much your staff knows about social engineering and other online threats by having them take this free cybersecurity quiz.

We can help bolster your company’s defenses against online threats of all kinds. From training your employees to updating your network, we can cover for you. Just let us know when you are ready and we will be happy to be of service!

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