Social Engineering Prevention

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Hackers see you, small business owners. In fact, 43% of all cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses. And 95% of those are social engineering phishing attacks! Hackers have learned that small businesses are easy targets. Small businesses tend to overlook social engineering prevention and leave the door wide open. How can you protect your small business? (Source)

What Is Social Engineering?

Social Engineering is a strategy used by cybersecurity hackers to manipulate humans into providing information or access to systems that contain that information. The hackers then use that information for their personal gain. Social engineering is a psychological method of hacking as opposed to a technical breach of cybersecurity protections and networks.

Types Of Social Engineering

There are several ways that hackers use social engineering to access your data. Awareness of these methods is the first step in prevention. Here are the primary methods used by hackers:

  • Phishing: Hackers send emails that look like real emails from a trusted company (such as a bank, Google, etc.). These emails ask for sensitive information, like passwords and account info.

  • Quid Pro Quo: Hackers may offer an employee a trade for information, like a pay-off.

  • Tailgating: This is a breach of your physical security, where an attacker follows an employee into a guarded area.

  • Pretexting: Hackers create a sense of urgency, even panic, to get employees to offer up information and access, in the pretext of actually helping stave off whatever is creating the urgent situation made up by the hackers.

  • Baiting: Much like quid pro quo, baiting involves offering something in exchange for information.

  • Vishing or SMiShing: Like Phishing but with SMS or the creative use of an auto attendant (IVR).

  • Impersonation: In Phishing, the hackers attempt to look like an official email. With Impersonation, they attempt to take on the persona of a person with authority, hoping the employee will “follow orders” and give up the information.

How To Protect Against Social Engineering Attacks

Now that you know the motivation and tactics behind a social engineering cybersecurity attack, you can take action to prevent these. There are two primary areas on which to focus your prevention activities:

  • People: This comes down to cybersecurity training. Your team needs to know what to look for, how to react when they see it, and what to do in case of a breach. A good cybersecurity training program is essential today, as social engineering attacks continue to rise and focus on small businesses.

  • Technology: Keep all of your technology updated and current. That includes hardware (network), software, and physical security on your premises.

Start Preventing Social Engineering Attacks Now

Social engineering attacks are on the rise. Most companies leave themselves vulnerable due to a lack of awareness and training. Let’s face it, it’s hard enough keeping your workforce trained up on their primary work duties and mandatory HR functions. Cybersecurity is just too important to ignore. The right (or wrong!) attack can bring your business to its knees.

Schedule a review of your cybersecurity training plans. Contact us now.