IT support Austin, cyber security Austin

Social Engineering Attacks & How To Prevent Them

You need to understand that social engineering problems can originate from both internal and external sources. IT support experts in Austin suggest that understanding the potential sources of these problems is an important step toward resolving them.

What Are Social Engineering Attacks?

Social engineering is an attack vector that heavily relies on human interactions. The attackers launch their attacks and try to trick people into going against the firm’s pre-established security protocols.

Classification of Social Engineering Attacks Based on Origin

As stated earlier, social engineering attacks can originate either from malicious insiders within your organization or from malicious sources outside the organization. IT experts discovered that both malicious insiders and malicious outsiders use different methods or techniques to launch their social engineering attacks.

Social engineering attack methods used by malicious insiders include:

  • Extracting credentials and passwords from the organization and sharing this with third parties.
  • Using confidential information to blackmail management for a promotion
  • Leaving the firm with credentials that the ex-employee continues to use for malicious purposes

Social engineering attack methods used by malicious outsiders include:

  • Posing as company contractors and using dubious means to get confidential information from gullible and unsuspecting employees. Malicious outsiders ride on the trust that companies give to reputable companies, such as IBM and Cisco, and rarely would an employee question an attacker who claims to come from a highly reputable company.
  • Some malicious outsiders mine the personal data of employees found on social sites and use these to build trust with the targeted employees.
  • Malicious outsiders have perfected the art of using malware programs to attack their target. For example, an attacker can embed malware programs in emails. When clicked, this malware can infect the employee’s computer and copy his or her files or spy on the employee’s computer activities.
  • Malicious outsiders also use phishing attacks to target their victims. They do this by using emails that appear to have originated from a trusted source, such as the company’s HR department or CEO, and ask the employees to send personal information that the attackers can then use for their own malicious purposes.

Social engineering attacks can be used either to copy your firm’s sensitive data or infect the company’s IT system with the end goal of causing widespread or massive damage to your IT system. In light of these facts, it is important for you to find ways that you can prevent these attacks from happening.

How to Prevent Social Engineering Attacks

IT support experts in Austin suggests the following measures that can help you prevent social engineering attacks:

  • Educate your employees: It is important for you to educate your employees and show them the potential sources of these attacks
  • Strengthen your firewall to keep attackers out
  • Conduct periodic cybersecurity assessments

Contigo Technology is an IT support provider in Austin that specializes in a wide range of IT-related services. Contact us today and let us advise you on the best cybersecurity policy for your firm.

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