It’s a threat to organisations of every size, and in every industry and sector. Social engineering attacks can cause disruption and real financial damage, too, which means that the best way to combat them is to stay as protected as possible. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take today which will help to keep your business safe.
What Are Social Engineering Attacks?
This kind of attack differs from many of the other kinds of cyber threats, such as viruses or hacks, in that they focus first on manipulating the human using the computer or device. Simply put, rather than capitalising on a vulnerability in a computer’s software, this kind of attack takes advantage of human nature, especially our better qualities, such as a readiness to help others.
The objective for this kind of cyber criminal is to trick the target into revealing sensitive personal information, including login details for workplaces. Common examples of this kind of attack include phishing (where the target receives emails from what appears to be a trusted source, which is requesting information) or counterfeit versions of real websites or helpdesks.
Combating The Threat
The nature of these attacks means that anyone who logs into your company’s systems could inadvertently put your business at risk. Therefore, the best defence starts with being sure that you keep all employees trained in detecting the signs of an attack, such as unsolicited requests for sensitive information, being asked to take part in an online survey which then asks for personal details, or a sudden alert that a security breach has occurred and needs immediate response via a given link or update. These attacks can also happen in the “real world”, with USB baiting being one such example. Staff must know not to insert any unfamiliar drive, as it can contain dangerous malware.
Introducing a “zero trust” policy is a good idea for any organisation, and managers must reiterate the importance of all staff adhering to a vigilant approach to any requests for information. Staff should feel supported in checking the provenance of requests and to take the time needed to look for common giveaways, such as spelling mistakes in a sender’s email addresses or websites. Make sure your team knows who to speak to if they think that they may have fallen victim to an attack, or if they have any other concerns relating to cyber security.
There are also robust IT security tools available, which use the latest technologies such as AI to recognise and block suspicious emails before they ever reach your employees’ inboxes. Some applications even make it possible for managers to monitor staff activity both on and offline, but these must be used sensitively and transparently in order to uphold employee trust.
These software solutions should, however, be seen as a complement to staff training rather than a substitute, as attacks can also happen over the phone or even in person. Examples include a call from someone claiming to be from a bank or client, or someone seemingly juggling packages who needs help being let into your workplace.
Get Secure With Reflective IT
As the experts in delivering robust IT security solutions, Reflective IT are the ideal people to help you safeguard against social engineering attacks. Why not find out more about our attack stack and services by exploring www.reflectiveit.com and discover our strategies for protecting businesses from all kinds of cyber threats.