Social Engineering: What Small Businesses Need to Know

PublisherSol Minion Developmenthttps:https://assets.solminion.co/logo.svg?mtime=20200915165531&focal=nonePublishedphishingtraining

Small businesses are seeing an increase in cybersecurity attacks. One of the most-used strategies to breach corporate security is Social Engineering. Without a good training program to empower employees to fend off these attacks, the business, and its data, remain in a very vulnerable position.

Ensure that your team is trained up on social engineering attacks so that you can avoid the high costs of a breach and the embarrassment of having to explain it to your market.

What Is Social Engineering In A Cybersecurity Context?

Social Engineering in the context of Cybersecurity is the malicious act of tricking individuals within a company network into giving up sensitive information. It is a psychological attack, exploiting the lack of training and awareness by the employees. That information may be the ultimate target, such as personal and financial data, intellectual property, or other intelligence. In many cases, hackers use the information they acquire in order to gain deeper access to the company network. Sometimes, this access can go unnoticed for a significant period of time while the attackers steal data and information, creating vulnerabilities to the business and its employees, customers, and vendors.

What Are The Types Of Social Engineering?

Attackers typically deploy a social engineering strategy to either sabotage a business or gain access to its information. There are four general types of social engineering attacks. These include the following:

  1. Phishing: Phishing attacks are generally emails that fake the look of an official email, asking for the person who receives the email to fill out a form that tricks them into providing sensitive information, such as username, password, and account information. Attackers can then use this to gain access to company and personal data.
  2. Quid Pro Quo: A Quid Pro Quo scheme offers the employee a benefit in exchange for information. At times, the hacker will pose the questions as a survey in exchange for a reward, e.g. a $100 gift card.
  3. Tailgating: Also known as “piggybacking,” a tailgating attack is one in which the hacker follows the employee into a restricted area. This is a physical breach of security.
  4. Pretexting: Pretexting involves building a false scenario that requires input or help from the target. The attacker typically creates urgency through fear in order to get the target to provide key information.
  5. Baiting: Baiting leverages an employee’s greed or curiosity by promising a good or item in exchange for information
  6. Vishing or SMiShing: Vising and SMiShing take on a few forms but involve phone calls and text messages. With Vishing, the attacker will use an auto attendant (IVR) to present what sounds like an official call and lead the end-user to enter personal information. SMS attacks are the same with text messages. A related attack to Vishing is installing malware on a smartphone that redirects calls to the attacker’s system to collect information.
  7. Impersonation: With this Cybersecurity attack strategy, the attacker attempts to impersonate a person known to the target, in order to pull information from them. Attackers typically impersonate somebody with authority (CEO, managers, etc.) in order to leverage that power differential to get more information.

There are many variations to the above attacks, creating a wide array of tactics for attackers to gain access to your sensitive data through social engineering attacks. So, how can you protect your business from these attacks?

How To Prevent Social Engineering Attacks

Preventing social engineering attacks on your business comes down to training. Cybersecurity training for employees, including teaching them how to identify, report, and shut down these attacks is vital to protecting your company and your customers.

Here are ways your team can prevent Social Engineering attacks:

  • Any email that comes in unsolicited should be seen as a potential attack. Go directly to the source. Do not click the links in the emails.
  • Keep your anti-virus and other security software updated.
  • Delete all requests for personal information. There is no reason for a company to ask for personal data in an email.
  • Check your spam filter settings to make sure phishing attempts get blocked.
  • Update your whole network, including firewalls, software, and devices.

Stay Smart On Social Engineering Prevention

Protecting your business from social engineering and other cybersecurity attacks is a matter of training your team up on identifying these attacks and responding to them. When your employees know what to look out for, they will keep your business’s data safe and keep you from having to send out embarrassing apology letters to your customers.

Contact us today to implement your Cybersecurity training plan.