Social engineering is a type of attack in which an individual or group of attackers uses deception and manipulation to trick users into giving them access to sensitive information, rights, or resources. These attacks are difficult to detect because they target human behavior rather than computer systems. Social engineers use various tricks and techniques to manipulate people into giving up confidential information or performing actions that are against company policy.
Social engineering attacks are a constant threat for businesses of all sizes and can target any employee with access to sensitive information, including receptionists, vendors, contractors, and suppliers. To avoid becoming a victim of social engineering attacks, you need to understand what they are and how you can protect your business from them. This article will explain what social engineering attacks are as well as give advice on how you can stay safe at work.
What is Social Engineering?
Social engineering is a type of cyber attack that targets human behavior rather than computer systems. While hackers may attempt to access your systems, social engineers are focused on gaining your trust. The goal of social engineering is to trick people into giving away confidential information or performing actions that are against company policy. Social engineering often occurs over the phone or email and many times, it is difficult to detect.
Some examples of social engineering attacks include:
- Hoax warnings
These attacks can target any employee with access to sensitive information, including receptionists, vendors, contractors, and suppliers.
Why are Social Engineering Attacks so Effective?
Social engineers use various tricks and techniques to manipulate people into giving up confidential information or performing actions that are against company policy. They often target human emotions like greed, fear, and curiosity. One of the main reasons that social engineering attacks are so effective is that people want to believe that they can trust others.
Employees will often trust individuals who appear to be legitimate, which can put your company at risk of a social engineering attack. Another reason that social engineering attacks are so effective is that they rely on human error. Employees who are tricked into an attack may not even realize that they have fallen victim to a social engineering attack.
Types of Social Engineering Attacks
1. Impersonation – In an impersonation attack, an individual impersonates someone else in order to trick you into sharing information.
2. Tailgating – Tailgating occurs when someone enters a building or facility after another person who has legitimate access to enter those locations.
3. Hoax warnings – Hoax warnings trick people into believing that the company is under attack. Helpful advice – Helpful advice is a form of social engineering that tricks employees into giving up confidential information.
How to Protect Your Company From Social Engineering Attacks
The best way to avoid a social engineering attack is to educate your employees about the dangers of these types of attacks. You should also create an awareness program that teaches employees how to identify and avoid falling victim to social engineering attacks. Here are some tips for protecting your company from social engineering attacks:
- Stay alert
- Look out for suspicious behavior
- Trust your instincts
- Educate your employees
- Create an awareness program
Social engineering attacks use human nature against us to trick us into doing things that we would not normally do. If you want to minimize the risk of falling victim to this type of attack, you should be careful about whom you give information to and suspicious of any emails that seem suspicious.