What Is Phishing and Social Engineering?
Social engineering is the manipulation of your employees in the hope that they will reveal their private information to a cyber attacker. It is tricking the individual through various techniques into revealing their personal and financial data, which criminals can use for illegal activity.
The types of information these people are trying to obtain can vary. They are often looking for passwords, bank information, or how to access your computer to install malicious software clandestinely. They can use this spyware to access your passwords and bank information and gain mastery over your computer.
Cyber criminals use social engineering tools because it is easier to exploit your employees’ instinct to trust than to find ways to hack your software. For example, it is much easier to dupe an individual into giving out their password than it is for a criminal to try hacking their password unless the password is weak.
Security involves knowing who or what to trust. You need to train your staff to be aware of the sophisticated tools cyber criminals are using to access your private business information.
These can be:
- An email from a friend. Suppose a cyber criminal socially engineers your employee’s email password. In that case, they have access to that person’s contact list and their social networking contacts. Once the attacker has that email account in their control, they send emails to all the victim’s contacts or leave messages on all their friend’s social media pages. These messages will often contain a link that you trust as it is from a friend. The link comprises malware, so the cyber criminal can take over your machine and collect information. The message may contain a download of pictures, music, or video with malicious software embedded within it. The friend’s computer then becomes infected. The malware goes on to infect the computers of all their friends and on and on it goes.
- An email from another trusted source. Typically these can be criminals imitating financial institutions. They are called phishing campaigns and give your employees a logical and valid sounding reason to hand over their login details and passwords. You may receive a message saying a family member is in trouble in another country. You need to send money. You could receive an email from your bank saying your account is compromised and you need to log in again. There could be a message asking you to donate to charity.
- Baiting scenarios. This baiting is when cyber criminals trick you by giving you something you want, such as a product or download. This download then infects your computer with malware, or the individual finds their bank account is empty.
- There are all kinds of other techniques that aim to create distrust and chaos among your contacts.
These social engineering techniques of gaining information continue to increase as cyber criminals master more elaborate and subtle strategies to breach organisations’ data through their employees.
Attackers gain access to your business’ private information by manipulating your workers through phishing campaigns. An ethical cyber attack that ConnectDS carry out on your employees enables you to see where education is necessary. The whole process keeps you and your company secure.
The human being is the weakest element in your cyber security strategy. A single naive employee could ruin all the security solutions you have in place.