Is social engineering a threat to my company?
Is social engineering a threat to my company?
Yes, it poses a growing risk to all companies, regardless of their size. This is because the focus is on individual human vulnerability. We start with the conclusion of this article because we cannot emphasize it enough. But, of course, we want you to stay interested and keep on reading. That is why we already reveal that we will provide you with a clear and comprehensible overview of the different forms of social engineering. We will also explain how you can minimize the risks for your company as much as possible.
What is social engineering and why is it a risk?
Social engineering revolves around influencing people to divulge sensitive information or perform actions that undermine security systems. Tactics often leverage emotions, time constraints, or urgency. Companies have become heavily reliant on data and computer systems. Fortunately, most companies are increasingly aware that investing in cybersecurity is an absolute necessity. Despite this positive trend, the human element often remains the weakest link in an organization’s security. People are susceptible to influence and sometimes make mistakes. When these individuals have access to crucial information or systems, it’s easy to understand why hackers focus so intensively on social engineering.
7 forms of social engineering
In the overview below, we outline seven of the most common social engineering strategies that cybercriminals use to gain access to data and corporate systems.
1. What is phishing?
Cybercriminals impersonate (reputable) companies, government agencies, colleagues, etc., to send emails on their behalf. Their goal is to extract personal information, entice you to click on malicious links, or download infected attachments.
2. What is vishing?
Vishing is essentially phishing over the phone. In this method, scammers attempt to obtain information through phone calls by pretending to be someone else. They often pose as a bank or government agency, seeking to verbally extract passwords or financial information.
3. What is smishing?
Smishing is phishing through text messages. Similar to phishing emails, cybercriminals send you fake text messages to make you click on malicious links or share personal information.
4. What is spear phishing or whaling?
Here it’s about a “big catch”: the focus is specifically on important individuals in a company, such as the CEO or top executives. Typically, these individuals have access to the most critical business information, and they often have the highest level of access rights as well.
5. What is pretexting?
Pretexting is inventing a credible story to deceive someone. The classic example here is supposed Microsoft technicians claiming to ‘assist’ you with a computer problem.
6. What is a BEC (Business Email Compromise)?
In this context, email systems are hacked to send false payment instructions or other harmful actions, often in the name of authorized individuals (in high positions) within the company.
7. What is piggybacking?
Perhaps the most conspicuous on this list. An unauthorized person tries to gain physical access to restricted areas by hitchhiking with an employee. Server rooms are, of course, a highly sought-after target. A good example of this technique is the experiments where individuals, simply by wearing a security vest, can often penetrate deep into a company.
As you can see, there are numerous creative strategies that cybercriminals use to achieve their goals. That’s why, in addition to having perfect technological security, it’s crucial to be very vigilant. This applies to all levels of the organizational chart. Everyone with access is a target. K-Force can assist and guide in all areas of cybersecurity.
Preventive and proactive measures in cybersecurity
Preventive and proactive measures in cybersecurity on the technological level
It is important to proactively filter out as much as possible on a technological level. This can be achieved, for example, through securing your mailboxes. This way, attacks via social engineering can be detected and prevented before they reach the inbox.
With our secured workplace solutions, you’re already on the right track in that respect.
We hope that after reading this article, you realize (even more) that cybercrime is constantly evolving, and your defense must evolve with it. Our security experts are continuously working behind the scenes to ensure that our client environments are as secure as possible. Additionally, it is worthwhile to regularly undergo a pen test and/or a comprehensive security audit. K-Force organizes audits to provide a clear overview of your complete security and to question its effectiveness.
Preventive and proactive measures in cybersecurity on the human level
Despite all (essential) IT security measures, it is often an employee who clicks on the wrong link, opens an unsafe attachment, or, worse, enters payment or login details on a malicious website. It is therefore crucial to arm this “weakest link” as effectively as possible against all new threats. This can be achieved, for example, by regularly organizing cybersecurity training sessions in groups. K-Force has experts in the field who regularly conduct such sessions.
A very good addition, and in certain cases even indispensable, is to keep all employees continuously alert with individual cybersecurity training and simulations based on their specific profile. This contributes even more significantly to cultivating a company culture where everyone is aware of the best practices in cybersecurity.
We at K-Force also do this internally. It all starts with a zero measurement, which provides you with an instant quantifiable insight into your organization’s security status, more concretely, …. How many of my employees actually clicked on that link, etc.
Fortunately, we use an automated platform for this and don’t need a colleague to set up each simulation and training material one by one, which also makes this a very user-friendly experience for you.
Do you have any questions or would you like to have a brief discussion?
In digital times, we still value personal contact the most. You are certainly welcome to discuss your situation over a good cup of coffee.