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Social engineering is a threat to be reckoned with. This type of data breach is not easy to detect, and it could even be that these manipulative efforts unknowingly threaten our data every day, but we are not aware of it.
For business owners, this kind of cybersecurity attack can be really harmful to the financial and sensitive data. But don’t worry. In this article, we’ll share with you some steps you need to take to protect your business from social engineering attacks.
What is Social Engineering?
Social Engineering is the art of manipulating people into giving them important and confidential information. The type of information these actors seek can vary.
However, once a person has been targeted, criminals usually try to trick the person into giving them passwords or bank information, or even accessing the victim’s computer to silently install malicious software that will give them access to the victim’s account.
And if that happens, then the perpetrator gets control rights over the victim’s device. In the world of cybercrime, this type of fraud is categorized as human hacking in an enticing way without the slightest suspicion.
Users can easily reveal important information, spread malware infections, and grant access to protected systems unnoticed. Attacks like this can occur directly (Face to Face), indirectly (Online), and through other interactions that are difficult to predict. In general, Social Engineering has two main goals to aim at, such as sabotage and stealing.
Since this deception is based on psychological manipulation, the attack strategy will be planned according to the way the victim thinks and acts. Thus, this psychological manipulation attack can be said to be very effective in tricking and influencing the victim’s behavior.
Potential victims also may not realize the value of personal data, such as telephone numbers and information on their identity cards. As a result, victims lose personal data because they do not have the knowledge about the best way to protect themselves from these attacks.
Techniques in Social Engineering
The basis of Social Engineering attack patterns always starts from communication or interaction in any form between the attacker and the victim. Usually, the attacker will try to make the victim do something that is not supposed to so that they do something that the attacker wants.
Finally, the attacker does not need to carry out other efforts, such as brute force attacks or hacking the servers and networks associated with the victim, but the victims themselves will provide the access for the attacker.
Regarding the form of attacks from Social Engineering, the point that we need to know is that Social Engineering focuses attacks on the human person who has a heart and feelings so that the following factors will determine that the attacker has started to gain the trust of the victim:
- Guilty feeling
- Sense/State of being in a hurry (potentially compromising on what is right just because of a sense of being in a hurry)
And since this type of attack might happen to anybody at any possible time, it’s important to keep yourself by having enough protection. For example, always using a VPN connection. With this tool, you can also use your own exclusive static IP address from one of the VPN servers. That way, you will receive the benefits of having a static address, like a more stable and smoother internet connection. Since the connection will be channeled, the browsing sessions can be much safer.
Impact Arises from Social Engineering
The impact caused by Social Engineering can be said to be potentially off-scale, meaning that usually, hackers have a big goal when carrying out Social Engineering attacks which are more than just social manipulation so that the attack does not end in “wasting the victim’s time”, but until it succeeds in putting malware or viruses or other things that can cause great damage and loss on the part of the victim.
If we look at it from the company’s point of view, the company will receive a big loss because it has to turn off or cut off all resources and also access to the internet network and devices with only one goal, namely to completely clean up traces of viruses or malware.
How To Protect Your Business From Social Engineering Attacks?
Social Engineering is always manipulating a person’s feelings and emotions. Therefore, caution is needed if you receive a warning from an unknown email or questionable advertisements.
Being aware of these can help you as an individual and as a company protect yourself against most of the Social Engineering attacks that are common in cyberspace.
Prevention or mitigation of Social Engineering itself can be done in several ways as follows:
- Do not open emails and attachments from suspicious and potentially Social Engineering sources. The way that can be done is to set up a spam filter to reduce emails of unknown origin.
- Use Multi-Factor Authentication. Can be interpreted as an authentication method or user verification process that will access a device or server. When enabled, each time a user wants to enter certain program or device, they have to enter certain codes, which are only known by them.
- Keep updating the anti-virus software used. As a precaution, it’s a good idea to make sure the automatic update feature is running, or make it a habit to download the latest version of software every day so as to minimize the possibility of virus/malware infection.
- Do not carelessly fill in personal data forms or press clicks on foreign links. Personal data can be misused for various harmful interests. Therefore, we are required to be vigilant in sharing personal data in cyberspace.
- Avoid downloading unknown files. Social Engineering attacks often use files embedded with malware, viruses, or systems that can hack a device. Make sure the file you are going to download comes from a trusted site.