6 Ways to Prevent Social Engineering Attacks

Social Engineering is an effective tactic of cybercriminals, who use psychological techniques to obtain valuable information from the targeted users. It triggers the users to make security mistakes and take away sensitive information such as banking details, credentials, system access, and other such information.

Social engineering or social manipulation is a technique in which cybercriminals exploit the trust of employees to access tactical information of businesses. The cybercriminals use various techniques such as voice messages or vishing, text messages or smishing, emails, whaling attack, quid pro quo attacks, tailgating, baiting, and pretexting. Hence, it is critical to know the different ways to prevent such cybercrimes and save the organization from the hands of cybercriminals.

How to Prevent Social engineering Attacks

Organizations should steer clear of cyberattacks by using a combined strategy of technology and training. You cannot find a one-stop solution to outsmart these social engineers, but to utilize an integrated approach to prevent such social engineering attacks.

In this blog post, you will come to know about the ‘6 Ways to Prevent Social Engineering Attack’ including the security measures and techniques that can be used by an enterprise to secure their employees and network from social engineering attacks.

  1. Security Awareness Training

Security awareness training is the process of educating the employees about the cybersecurity threats and risks involved in an organization. Why employees should undergo security training? The training enables the employees to update their knowledge in various cybersecurity threats and helps them to avoid/prevent the attacks that may comprise the security of the organization.

The security awareness training helps the organization to enhance cyber resilience, develop a security culture, prevent data breaches and attacks, build robust defensive techniques, and update security compliance regulations.

  1. Multi-Factor Authentication

According to the report by Verizon, 67% of data breaches are caused by stealing the credentials. Multi-factor authentication offers an additional layer of protection for both clients and employees of the enterprise. Multi-factor authentication, also known as 2FA or two-factor authentication is a security procedure in which an individual has to provide at least two types of credentials to verify the identity.

The most common method to verify the identity is the use of passwords that may get compromised due to cyber threats or hacking. Two-factor authentication offers additional security to secure the confidential data of the enterprise. It will reduce the probability of identity theft, phishing scams, brute-force attacks, etc.

  1. Use Email Gateways

Based on the report by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, there is a 667% increase in phishing attacks only in the first month of COVID-19 pandemic. Majority of these phishing attacks used COVID themes for brand impersonation, business email compromise, and scamming.

Enterprises should use email gateways to prevent these kinds of emails that violate organizational policies and interests from reaching the internal servers. Secure email gateway is a server or software used for monitoring the emails sent and received by the internal email servers of the organization.  These email gateways are capable of preventing the access of sensitive information through email messages.

  1. Deploy Trusted Antivirus Software

Deploying a trusted antivirus or firewall software at the organization level will prevent malware from entering the enterprise network. The threat vectors are changing their attacking methodologies at a rapid pace. Hence, it is mandatory to install robust antivirus software that can respond to the latest cyberattack vectors. Enable automatic updates of the antivirus software that prevents the cybercriminals to infiltrate the enterprise network.

  1. Incident Management Response System

The incident management response system enables the enterprise to identify, record, analyze, and record real-time cybersecurity incidents. As the cybersecurity issues are growing exponentially, enterprises have to adopt best practices that help them to respond to these incidents by mitigating the effects and preventing the enterprise network from any future incidents.

Incident management response system is an amalgamation of threat investigation and analysis by humans, software tools and appliances. It normally sends an alert when there is a security breach in the system that allows the team to take appropriate measures to handle the attacks.

  1. Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing

Vulnerability assessment is the process used to find the security loopholes in the software or errors made by the employees themselves. Vulnerability assessment is designed to reduce the risk of cyber threats through uninformed or untrained employees. Vulnerability tests are conducted on the employees by duplicating various social engineering tactics such as deception, intimidation and manipulation. The vulnerability assessment report generated after conducting these tests is used for penetration testing.

Penetration testing is performed after the completing vulnerability assessment to confirm whether any kind of vulnerability exists in the system. It is an authorized simulated attack performed on a system to analyze the security. The testing is done using the same techniques, tools and processes similar to that of the attackers to validate the system vulnerabilities.

Vulnerability assessment is a non-intrusive process that can be performed without disturbing the IT infrastructure, whereas penetration testing is an intrusive process that may damage the systems. Hence, proper precautions have to be exercised before performing a penetration test.

Final Thoughts

Social engineering is a successful way of cybercriminals to barge into the system of an organization. Enterprises should deal with the cybercrimes in a systematic and structured way using different approaches as mentioned above.


Deepa K

Content Strategist

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