If you own a computer, you might already be familiar with the risks involved in surfing the internet. Cybercrime has developed consistently in parallel with the increasing usage of digital devices in day-to-day life. We use computers, phones, and tablets for just about everything, and storing critically personal information on them has become normalized.
Organizations face a massive risk when it comes to cybercrime and data protection. Being hacked at the organizational level can result in huge financial and collateral damage. Attacks can leave an organization crippled at the loss of trust. Social engineering is a common method of infiltrating critical information and comes in many forms.
This article will cover everything you need to know about social engineering and how to protect yourself and your organization against attacks.
Social engineering refers to a variety of malicious tactics aimed at acquiring personal information by manipulating victims. A social engineering attack is usually directed toward obtaining personal passwords, bank details, and other highly sensitive information. The attacker tricks the victim into divulging private information through a variety of techniques.
Attackers typically use this information to hack into accounts, ultimately leading to financial gain. They might use the information to impersonate someone, gain access to their finances, or, might threaten to leak sensitive data if not renumerated to their satisfaction.
Offenders use social engineering tactics because hacking the human mind is far easier than guessing passwords or hacking into a computer system.
Your organization is under constant threat from cyber or social engineering attacks. Familiarizing yourself with it can be a helpful preventative measure. So, what are the different types of social engineering attacks?
Social engineering typically works by tricking the victim into divulging private information. This is done through a variety of techniques, including, but not limited to phishing, vishing, and baiting. Each tactic has its own qualities and once you become familiar with them, you’ll probably realize you’ve already encountered them. Here are explanations of some of the most common forms of social engineering.
This is one of the most common forms of social engineering. It involves the attacker sending a campaign of emails, text messages, or messages through social media. The attacker prods victims to disclose private information and uses it to hack into accounts, causing financial and collateral damage to victims.
Phishing attacks often create a sense of urgency to bypass the victim’s cognitive defenses. They do this by inciting fear or curiosity in the messages they send. These messages usually contain a malicious link or file intended for the victim to click on.
Vishing is essentially the same as phishing except that it typically occurs over the phone. The perpetrator will call someone and over the course of a phone call, try to trick the victim into handing over information the thief can use to infiltrate them.
This malicious social engineering tactic involves impersonating someone the victim is likely to trust. The perpetrator sets up a situation or “pretext” that leads the victim into disclosing sensitive information. The perpetrator might impersonate a bank, the police, or a tax officer. This is because some might think it normal for these professionals to ask for personal information.
Baiting involves luring a victim into being infected by malicious software. It may be a flash drive left conspicuously for somewhere to find or an advertisement on a website. They set the bait and wait for someone to bite so to speak. The bait can be both physical or a link or file from a malicious website. It’s often disguised to be legitimate prompting the victim’s curiosity. To avoid baiting, never click on a link or insert something into your PC that you’re not 100% sure about.
Tailgating, also known as ‘piggybacking’ is a social engineering attack where a perpetrator gains access without proper authentication. They do this in a variety of ways including impersonating someone typically deemed harmless (pizza delivery guy or postman) to gain access to restricted areas. They may also just follow a fully authenticated person closely behind to give security the impression that they’re together.
Once inside, they may seek to install malware or ransomware onto the organization’s computers, hacking valuable information for financial gain.
“Quid Pro Quo” attacks are largely considered low-level attacks as they don’t require the use of technology or specialized skills. The attacker typically calls a bunch of random numbers impersonating someone from technical support from a service they’re subscribed to.
They offer help or service which allows them the opportunity to install ransomware on your computer or other devices. It’s also known as the “something-for-something” attack because the attacker typically offers you some kind of “help” or “service”.
Businesses are at particularly high risk of social engineering through their unsuspecting employees. Perpetrators feel that their time is better spent targeting a business rather than individuals because the pay-off is likely much higher. Neglecting to implement a solid security system for your organization leaves you open to being targeted by highly skilled criminals.
The Snowfensive security team consists of highly trained security professionals passionate about protecting your business. Snowfensive security employs a comprehensive approach to organizational security including defending against social engineering attacks.
The security team works by conducting a thorough analysis aimed at identifying vulnerabilities in your organization’s security. Our team provides customized awareness training aimed at educating your employees about potential risks and how to deal with them securely and effectively.
Our team carries years of professional experience successfully protecting organizations against cybercrime, social engineering attacks, and other prevalent security risks.
Businesses are under particular risk of being targetted as they represent a great risk-to-reward ratio to attackers. Snowfensive is an industry-leading security firm with years of experience and the necessary expertise to keep your business safe from attacks.
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