According to a study done by the security firm Proofpoint, social engineering was the most commonly used cyberattack in 2015. The reason this type of attack is so successful in breaking through the security barriers of small-to-medium businesses is probably because it involves real people actively engaging with employees to trick them into doing what they want. These criminals will go so far as to impersonate higher-ups in order to fool workers into clicking on malicious links, giving them their passwords and much more.
So how can you and your coworkers steer clear of social engineering scams? The trick is to know how to recognize an attack and to always think twice about taking an action if it seems fishy. So without further ado, here are some tips from our Burlington County IT security service on spotting and handling some of the most common types of social engineering schemes:
- Confirm the identity of “inspectors” – If an individual walks into your company claiming to be an inspector, verify with a manager that they were notified that this person would be coming. Keep in mind that social engineering attackers often seem legitimate – they might be equipped with a clipboard, a uniform and a convincing backstory – but that doesn't mean that they are. Therefore, you should never let an “inspector” past the front desk and into areas with computers without validation of their identity and purpose.
- Beware of pleading emails – Naturally, employees want to please their bosses and coworkers in order to show that they are dedicated to the company. Unfortunately, social engineering attackers often take advantage of this eagerness to please. They'll impersonate a coworker or boss and send an email that pressures an employee to do something in order to prevent someone from getting mad. While it may seem easy to identify such an email as superficial, the reality is many people fall for it. To avoid this, we urge you to always check with the sender that a message is authentic before doing what it asks.
- Be suspicious if you get an unsolicited message from “tech support” – Another common tactic of social engineering masterminds is to pretend to be a technical support representative. So if you get a call or email from someone who claims to be a member of your company's tech support crew but you didn't report a problem, don't give up any information. If possible, ask the individual to come to your desk to verify that they actually work for your organization.
Social engineering attackers can be sneaky, but by knowing their most common strategies and using caution, you can avoid letting these individuals wreak havoc on your company.
Hire Alura for Assistance with Protecting Your Business
Apart from social engineering schemes, there are tons of other cyberthreats out there today. That's why Alura Business Solutions offers IT security services in Burlington County. By utilizing our military-grade encryption and information security services, your company will cut its chances of falling victim to a cyberattack of any kind.
Want to learn more about what makes us the place for IT security services Burlington County businesses can count on? Give us a call at 844-558-7200. And if you'd like to read our helpful tips for protecting company cell phones from cyber attacks, don't miss last week's post. We look forward to providing you with Burlington County IT security services!