Not all modern security threats involve the Internet. In fact, some of them don’t involve technical knowledge at all. The modern world is a scary place if one isn’t careful, especially with trade secrets. As technology progresses, so do the number of ways that it can be used to harm other people.
And well, sometimes, the most vulnerable point in a business’s defense doesn’t necessarily have to lie within the security system itself. Sometimes, the point of attack that cybercriminals use as points of entry into a business is the employees themselves. This type of infiltration is called “Social Engineering”.
What is Social Engineering?
According to this article, social engineering is the art of manipulating people to a point that they divulge confidential information. There are many ways that criminals perform social engineering but the goal and the methods are always the same. They try to gain the trust of their target so that they, later on, are able to gain access to their target’s computer in order to retrieve confidential information.
As a general rule, it’s important to know when a person can or cannot be trusted. However, this is easier said than done, which is where this article comes in.
So, how do you differentiate friend from foe?
1. Invest in a Cybersecurity Company
There are many reputable cybersecurity companies that would be more than happy to not only overhaul your security systems, but to also conduct a cybersecurity test in order to determine any probable points of access (if there are any). These companies will often include cybersecurity training programs as part of their package, and they will almost always discuss the types of social engineering attacks that are out there.
2. Set Spam Filters to “High”
This not only helps keep your inbox from getting cluttered, it also helps weed out the untrusted emails from your system. Spam filters are embedded in almost every email program that you can think of. This is one of the most basic countermeasures to social engineering attempts.
3. Ignore Emails Asking or Offering Help
This holds especially true when you aren’t able to directly determine who exactly the sender is. Any request or offer of help that you receive should always be treated with suspicion, especially when the sender claims to be a representative of a charitable organization. These organizations do not conduct targeted email campaigns and rely on more mainstream, mass media mediums aimed at a general audience.
4. Avoid Downloading Any Attachments From Untrusted Sources
While this may seem pretty obvious to most people, the mere fact that it still needs to be mentioned every now and then should be a sign that there are still some people who fall for this trick. As a general rule, when an email is suspicious, its contents should be treated accordingly as well. Some emails contain malware that’s programmed to execute as soon as it gets downloaded. Who knows what type of damage it can do?
Now over to you!
What’s your best practice for preventing social engineering to sneak in to your business? Please share it with us!