Cybersecurity and the Risk of Social Engineering Attacks

Cybersecurity and the Risk of Social Engineering Attacks

Great employees are your businesses’ best asset. Unfortunately, even when your staff is properly trained and educated on the dangers of social engineering, they can be exploited through social engineering. A split-second error can cost a company millions. The average total cost for a data breach is currently $3.92 million.

Many small to midsize enterprises believe they’re simply too small for hackers to target. Unfortunately, hackers don’t discriminate and are happy to take advantage of any vulnerable business, large or small.

The best perimeter-based controls like firewalls and web filters can stop unwanted traffic from entering a corporate network. However, these tools can be rendered ineffective when hackers deploy social engineering tactics to trick the end user into opening the door. It’s essential to train your employees in all forms of social engineering protection to ensure documents, data and even your customers’ personal information is secure.

Common Forms of Social Engineering

Our knowledge needs to be as current as possible to avoid social engineering threats. Even if you’ve studied this phenomenon and are aware of the risks, the format social engineering assumes can change every day. Hackers are becoming more and more adept at finding new ways to exploit vulnerable businesses. All of their schemes use coercive tactics to obtain sensitive information from your employees.

Phishing

Phishing attacks are received via email or through messages on social media sites like LinkedIn. They rely on a cleverly worded subject line as well as the appearance of a trusted contact to convince the employee to click a link. Once the link is activated, the malicious code spreads rapidly throughout your system.

Spear phishing occurs when a hacker already has some basic information they use to get the target to reveal more sensitive information. Many hackers use fraudulent LinkedIn accounts to learn the names, titles and email addresses of individual employees, which they then use to design a more personal spear phishing attack. It’s much harder to ignore an email when the sender uses your full name and correct title.

Vishing

Vishing, or voice phishing, uses information that’s been gleaned through careful study or through an earlier phishing attack to convince an employee to disclose sensitive information over the phone. Vishing is very difficult to trace due to caller ID spoofing which disguises the origin of the number as something familiar or secure.

How to Protect Your Business

Protecting your employees from social engineering is an essential part of operating a business in 2019. Hacking has played a role in 52% of data breaches so far, and hackers are only getting more sophisticated. Small- and medium-sized businesses need to be taking this threat seriously.

Taking action to protect your business starts with the basics, like improving password security. It’s important to ensure your company has a robust information security policy and all employees are fully trained in compliance with the guidelines you’ve set.

After that, test your employees. Even the most knowledgeable may automatically open emails that seem trustworthy or are too willing to give away their most sensitive login information. Your employees need to know that being kind to business strangers (new clients, potential customers or other strangers we come across while working) doesn’t mean neglecting good judgment.

Network Tech Offers Comprehensive Cyber Protection Solutions for Many Types of Businesses

The experts at Network Tech can help your company mitigate the risk of a social engineering attack. We’re committed to offering our customers Fortune 500-level security defenses and practices. This process starts with an objective threat assessment and is completely customized to your business.

Once your new security policies and infrastructure are in place, our priority is making sure your employees are knowledgeable. We’ll help train your new hires and can even test employees periodically to make sure they remain vigilant against phishing.

Whatever company you hire to review or execute a cybersecurity plan for your business should be trustworthy. This means being regularly audited by a third party and having their own robust internal policies that protect not only their data but yours as well. These policies should be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure they’re keeping up with fast-moving hackers. This continuous business protection is designed to give you complete peace of mind.

If the social engineering risks to your business are overwhelming, let us use our expertise to help you. The Network Tech team understands business, as well as technology, and is available to discuss a customized protection plan at any time. Contact us at 913-538-7700 to get complete protection for your business today.