What is it that makes Social Engineering harmful to your organization?

Social engineering can be defined as any activity persuading a person or a group of people to do or act on something that isn’t always in their best interests. Criminals using social engineering attacks always attempt to exploit human nature for their vested interests. Unlike the usual black hat hackers who breach systems using technology, these attackers strive to affect victim’s judgement through their verbal and written communication skills.

Social engineering attack techniques that are detrimental to businesses

Cybercriminals utilizing social engineering have a range of approaches, just as they do with other types of cyber assaults. The most infamous and most harmful social engineering attacks having the potential to cripple your businesses are listed here: –

Emails with ransomware or scareware embedded in it – Many top executives and leaders of businesses receive emails containing 3rd-party vendor compliance documents with urgency to download the files. As soon as the files get downloaded, certain malicious scripts get executed in the background without your notice. Now, it doesn’t matter whether you fill and upload the document and send it across to the attacker’s duped email. The attacker has already gained access to your computer by the malicious document sent in your email. Scareware social engineering attacks are aimed to terrify you into complying by bombarding you with false alarms, made-up threats, and “urgent” cautions. Typically, these bogus warnings instruct the victim to download and install specific software in order to eliminate the threat.

Pretexting to gather more information – Attackers impersonate law enforcement agencies, government officials, and likewise, which are otherwise trustworthy entities. They do this to deceive their potential victims into providing their personal information like unique identification numbers, user credentials, bank account details, and likewise. Pretexting can also be used to collect non-harmful information yet PII data, such as your mobile phone number or postal address.

Phishing and its various types – Phishing attacks via emails persuade consumers to click on a malicious link or file in an email. Even the most unskilled cybercriminals can easily locate and acquire phishing kits. These are collections of harmful software used to carry out these sorts of assaults attacks. The attacker intends to send emails to a large number of people in the hopes that some of them will get through spam filters and technological safeguards. A tiny fraction of recipients may fall for the trap if the emails are delivered.

In one example, attackers posing as Microsoft employees sent out emails requesting personal information to “re-authorize” some old Office software. Even down to the business insignia, the request appeared quite plausible.

Attackers can pose as IT department officials and request that you confirm your login by clicking on a link that takes you to a fake “official” page. The website, however, takes your credentials as you arrive. Phishing using phone calls is known as ‘Vishing’, while text message scams are known as ‘Smishing’.

Physical social engineering or Tailgating – The fraudster in this case follows authorized people directly into a protected location, avoiding security precautions like swiping an identity card. This is particularly frequent in organizations that need keycard permission.

Watering hole – The cybercriminal conducts research about the firm or industry they are targeting and uses this knowledge to locate websites they visit, such as discussion boards or forums. This is where the name originates from, attackers locate and prey on the target’s “watering hole.” The attacker then identifies and exploits vulnerabilities in the website in order to inject malware. After then, merely visiting the compromised website would infect visitors with malicious code, potentially granting the attacker access to the victim’s account. Users may not be aware they have been hacked.

Centex Technologies provide state-of-the-art cyber-security solutions for businesses. For more information, contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213-4740, Dallas (972) 375-9654, Atlanta (404) 994-5074, and Austin (512) 956-5454