Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Social Engineering
Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Social Engineering


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Social Engineering

Social Engineering is the malicious act of tricking a person into doing something by messing up his emotions and decision-making process.

According to Digital Guardian, “Social engineering attacks typically involve some form of psychological manipulation, fooling otherwise unsuspecting users or employees into handing over confidential or sensitive data. Commonly, social engineering involves email or other communication that invokes urgency, fear, or similar emotions in the victim, leading the victim to reveal sensitive information, click a malicious link, or open a malicious file.”


Types of Social Engineering Attacks


Ways to prevent Social Engineering Attacks

As the attacks discussed above illustrate, social engineering involves preying on human psychology and curiosity to compromise victims’ information. With this human-centric focus in mind, organizations must help their employees counter these attacks. They can incorporate the following tips into their security awareness training programs.

  • Do not open any emails from untrusted sources: Contact a friend or family member in person or by phone if you receive a suspicious email message from them.
  • Do not give offers from strangers the benefit of the doubt: If they seem too good to be true, they probably are.
  • Lock your laptop: It’s recommeded to lock your laptop, whenever you are away from your workstation.
  • Purchase anti-virus software: No AV solution has a 100% detection rate, but they can help to defend against campaigns that use social engineering tactics.
  • Read your company’s privacy policy: To understand under what circumstances you can or should let a stranger into the building.
  • Verify any urgent requests: That come from a contact within your organization to confirm they are valid, particularly before transferring money or divulging information.
  • Create a risk-aware culture: To ensure employees are on alert. Social engineering attacks typically rely on naivety and human error to be successful. Ensure security is a part of your organizational lexicon so employees can prevent attacks and know where to report incidents should they occur.


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