Cyber security

What is social engineering in cyber security ?

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what is social engineering in cyber security

What is social engineering in cyber security?

The term social engineering in cyber security describes a wide range of malicious activities conducted through human interaction. This type of malware uses psychological manipulation to trick users into committing security mistakes.

An attack involving social engineering may take several steps. Firstly, the attacker investigates the intended victim in order to gain background information, such as entry points and weak security protocols, before launching the attack. Assuming the attacker gains the victim’s trust, he or she then provides stimuli for gaining access to critical resources or revealing sensitive information.

How does social engineering in cyber security work?

Typically, cybercriminals use social engineering to trick their victims into believing they are acting on behalf of a trusted organization. In some instances, they will even act like a person the victim knows.

The attacker will then encourage the victim to take further action (if the victim believes the attacker is who they claim). This could expose sensitive information, such as passwords, dates of birth, and bank account numbers. If the victim visits a webpage with malware, it can disrupt their computer. In worst-case scenarios, the malicious website can strip the device of its sensitive information or take it over completely.

Why is social engineering so dangerous?

Social engineering attacks are one of the most dangerous aspects of the field. Even one deceived victim can provide sufficient information to launch an attack that can impact an entire organization.

As social engineering attacks have advanced over time, they have become more sophisticated. A fake website or email, in addition to looking realistic enough to trick victims into revealing sensitive information. They have also become a common way for attackers to breach an organization’s initial defenses and do further damage.

Learn more about Botnets and how to take precautions against them visit our blog.

How to protect your business from social engineering?

Even the best security systems are vulnerable to psychological attacks. Nevertheless, companies can minimize the risks of social engineering with awareness training.

Training tailored to the needs of your organization is highly recommended. This should include a demonstration of how attackers might socially engineer your employees. Consider a scenario in which an attacker poses as a bank employee. Who requests that the target confirms their account information. A senior manager may also ask the target (whose email address has been spoofed or copied) to make a payment to a particular account.

In training, employees learn to defend against such attacks. Also, they will learn the importance of their role in supporting the security culture within the company.

As part of your security policies, your organization should define the following procedures. It helps your employees make the most effective decisions when dealing with social engineering.

  • Password management: It is easy to secure information assets if employees have guidelines. It specifies what kind and how many characters each password must include, how often passwords must be changed, and even if they don’t disclose passwords to anyone, regardless of their position.
  • Multi-factor authentication: If your network has high-risk services such as modem pools or VPNs, you should use multi-factor authentication instead of fixed passwords.
  • Email security with anti-phishing defenses: Many email security tools already include anti-phishing protection. This helps minimize the risk of phishing and other social engineering attacks.

Types of Social Engineering Attacks

An attack using social engineering can occur anywhere humans interact. Here are some common forms of social engineering attacks that can be performed through the internet.

Phishing: This process involves using bulk email, SMS text messages, and phone calls to pretend to be a trustworthy organization in order to obtain sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details. The phishing message creates an atmosphere of urgency, curiosity, and fear in the recipient. It may entice them to reveal sensitive information, enter links to malicious sites, or open attachments containing malware.

Baiting: An attack in which a scammer falsely promises something in order to attract the victim into a trap that may steal their financial information or infect their systems with malware. The trap may take the form of a malicious attachment named in an enticing way.

Baiting usually involves the use of physical media to disperse malware. For example, attackers leave malware-infected flash drives in conspicuous places where their victims are sure to find them. The victim installs malware when he or she inserts a flash drive into the computer at home or at work. Baiting scams are also online, posing as tempting ads. Which direct users to malicious sites or encourage them to download malware-infected software.

Tailgating: Through social engineering tactics, an unauthorized person gains access to a restricted or employee-only area. Also known as “piggybacking”. An impersonator might open a door and ask an employee to hold it for him, thus gaining access to the building.

Scareware: The purpose of scareware is to bombard victims with false alarms and fictitious threats. In order to preserve the video that the criminal claims to possess, users are deceived into believing that their systems are infected with malware, leading them to download software. It also grants the criminal remote access to their systems or to pay the criminal for the video in bitcoins.

Dumpster Diving: The scammer will look for sensitive information in the garbage, including bank statements, preapproved credit cards, student loans, and other account information if it hasn’t been sanitized or destroyed. 

How Kloudlearn Can help your organization?

Organizations should train their employees on cybersecurity. Providing practical cybersecurity training can reduce the risk of attacks on your data and information.

KloudLearn‘s Cyber Security Training Program is designed to introduce you to the fundamentals of today’s cybersecurity landscape.

In addition, as part of our comprehensive program, you will gain knowledge and skills by tackling real-world challenges. This will put you over the top in the job market.

FAQ’s

What are the types of social engineering in cyber security?

The six most common types of social engineering attacks to be aware of are listed below. Phishing, Whaling DistractionTheft, Baiting, HoneyTrap Pretexting.

What does social engineering mean?

Social engineering exploits human weaknesses to gain access to personal information and security systems. Social engineering relies on manipulating individuals instead of hacking computer systems to gain access to a target's account.

Why do cybercriminals use social engineering techniques?

Social engineering is a popular tactic among attackers because people are often easier to exploit than network or software vulnerabilities. Social engineering is frequently used as part of a more extensive campaign to infiltrate a system or network and steal or disperse sensitive data.

What are the different types of cyber security tools?

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