How to Protect Your Gibraltar Business from Social Engineering: Tactics to Stay Safe
Social engineering is the process of manipulating people into doing something they normally wouldn’t do. This hacking or infiltration technique has existed for many decades and is still commonly used today. It’s much harder to detect than other hacking approaches because it targets humans instead of computers. If you have a business, your employees will be targeted by cybercriminals sooner or later. Even an employee with the best intentions can make mistakes that give an intruder access to confidential information, systems, or networks. To protect your business from social engineering, you need to understand how these hackers target you and what you can do to stop them in their tracks. Here are some things you need to know about social engineering, so that you can avoid being a victim yourself and help your employees avoid it as well.
What is Social Engineering?
Social engineering is a human-focused hacking technique that relies on psychological manipulation to trick people into revealing confidential information. It’s easier and cheaper to get what you want from people than to hack their computers because people are generally more careless than computers are. Social engineering attacks can be launched over the phone, in person, or online, but the goal is always the same: to trick individuals into giving up sensitive data or taking action on behalf of the attacker. Social engineering attacks can be extremely convincing. They’re often personalized attacks that target the victim’s specific interests, concerns, and fears. If you’re worried that you might be a target, it’s important to know that social engineers can take advantage of your good nature. You might be tricked into doing something out of the kindness of your heart, like connecting to a suspicious network or sharing sensitive information with a seemingly trustworthy caller.
Why is Social Engineering So Effective?
Social engineering is a common technique because it works. People are naturally curious and want to help others, which is why the best social engineers are charming and polite. These traits are what allow them to build trust with their victims, even though they don’t know them. If someone is talking to you and they’re extremely polite, you might not realize that they’re trying to trick you—even if what they’re asking you to do is out of the ordinary and might otherwise seem suspicious. Social engineers can also take advantage of your natural desire to be helpful and show off your knowledge. If someone calls you and asks for tech support, for example, there’s a good chance that you’ll want to help. The problem is that you might not know whether or not the caller is legitimate. If you’re in doubt, you’re more likely to give the wrong advice.
The Types of Social Engineering Attacks
There are many different types of social engineering attacks. The most common target your employees’ emotions, such as fear or greed, and take advantage of their desire to help others. Here are some of the most common social engineering attacks:
- Tailgating: Tailgating is when an intruder slips into your business under the assumption that someone else has access to the building. For example, a tailgater might walk into the building when a delivery person is bringing a package inside. After they walk inside, they can walk right into the server room or other secure areas. How to protect yourself: Be careful who has access to the building and make sure you’re aware of anyone who might be following you inside.
- Impersonation: Impersonators pretend to be someone they’re not to get information or access from you. They might pretend to be someone from tech support, a government official, or even another member of your staff. How to protect yourself: Don’t give out sensitive information to anyone who isn’t verified as an employee of your company.
- Diversion: Diversion is when an attacker lures you away from your computer or out of the office so that they can access your information. They might email you about a fraudulent situation so that you call them on the phone and end up giving them sensitive information. How to protect yourself: Stay away from computers that aren’t yours and don’t give out any information that isn’t necessary.
- Baiting: Baiting is when an attacker tricks you into clicking on a malicious link. They might email you with a link that appears to be from your CEO or someone else in your office, or they might send you links that appear to be something you want, like celebrity news or sports information. How to protect yourself: Don’t click on anything that looks suspicious, even if it comes from someone you know.
Steps to Protect Your Network from Social Engineers
Social engineering is a tricky form of hacking, but it’s not impossible to defend against. You can protect your Gibraltar based business and your employees by following these tips:
1) Educate your employees: Make sure your employees know what social engineering is and how to spot it. They can then pass this knowledge on to their colleagues, and everyone will be on the lookout for potential attacks. The IT Lab (Gibraltar) offers security awareness training.
2) Use two-factor authentication: Make sure employees are using two-factor authentication on their accounts whenever possible. This will help them avoid giving out their passwords, which is the easiest way for social engineers to gain access to sensitive information. Follow our guide here.
3) Monitor your employees: Make sure someone is watching out for suspicious activity in your systems and on your networks. You can also monitor for social engineering attempts by using a tool that tracks keystrokes and alerts you when someone is trying to impersonate an employee or enter the network.
4) Keep your networks secure: Make sure your networks have strong passwords and are updated with the latest software patches and security patches. If you are in doubt or need a free consultation on how to improve your network security internally and externally, or your cloud provider access, then book a free consultation with The IT Lab (Gibraltar). Our IT Engineers will come on-site and provide you with the best possible solution.
Hackers use social engineering to trick employees into giving away sensitive information or taking an action that grants them access to your network. Social engineers rely on emotion and curiosity to get what they want, so it’s important to keep your guard up. You can protect your business by educating your employees, installing two-factor authentication, and keeping your networks secure. When in doubt, you can also use a monitoring service that alerts you to suspicious activity. If you keep these tips in mind, you can protect your business against social engineering and other forms of hacking.