Cybercriminals keep relying on the same scams because users keep falling for the exact same tactics without ever seeming to learn the skills needed to protect against them. It might come as a surprise, but the greatest cyber threat that businesses are facing today isn’t hackers exploiting software vulnerabilities; it’s your staff.
Social engineering attacks are now the most common form of cybercrime, and your staff needs the right know-how to defend against them. By using sneaky and manipulative tactics to trick employees into sharing sensitive information like usernames and passwords, hackers are gaining access to valuable data, and it’s costing businesses a lot of money.
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How Can You Protect Against Social Engineering?
The best way to eliminate the threat of social engineering is to make sure your staff is aware of what to look for. Be sure to educate your staff on the following:
- Never give out private information: A basic rule in cybersecurity is knowing not to share sensitive info online. The trusted institutions with which you do business will not ask you for your private information. They already have your account numbers, social security number, and your passwords. They won’t have any good reason to ask for it again, right? If an email from a superior or external contact asks for that info, it is likely a scam, so be sure to confirm the request by phone or in person.
- Set standard protocols for requests: Have steps put in place for management to follow when asking for information or access from employees. If your employees have a clear idea of how these interactions should look, they’re less likely to be fooled by a hacker posing as their supervisor.
- Always check up on unexpected email attachments: If you get an email from someone you know with an attachment that you weren’t expecting, you should confirm it with the sender. Give them a call or send them an email to ensure that the attachment is from them and is legitimate before you open it.
Each employee should be thoroughly educated on the ways to spot and prevent a social engineering attack, and that education needs to be ongoing. Allowing yourself or your staff to get complacent puts your business at serious risk.