Enterprise Security: In 2016, 60% of organizations were victims of social engineering attacks.

You can expect that number to be about the same now, if not higher. Cybercriminals are getting smarter and smarter, which means it’s getting more difficult to fend off their attacks.

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However, that doesn’t mean it’s completely impossible.

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There are a few ways you can upgrade your enterprise security so it’s much more difficult for these attacks to be successful. Keep reading to find out all about social engineering, as well as ways to prevent and manage attacks.

Know more about cyber security tips for small business by reading this post.

What Is Social Engineering?

Before we give you tips on preventing and managing social engineering attacks, let’s first define what it is.

In the past, hackers would have to try and attack your computer to gain access to things like your email and bank accounts. But this takes a lot of effort compared to social engineering.

Social Engineering Attacks Prevention

Social engineering is where the fraudsters pretend to be a company or person that you trust. Social engineering techniques include crafting emails, websites, texts, and other communications that are highly convincing.

By doing so, they can get you to hand over your credentials without even knowing they’re going to the wrong people in enterprise security.

This is usually done by buying email names and website domains that are very closely related to authentic accounts and sites. For example, they may buy “netflx.com” to imitate Netflix’s actual website.

When you click on these links, you might not notice that the names are slightly off. So you try and log on, when in fact, you’re giving the cybercriminals your usernames and passwords.

Prevention

Like we said in the beginning, it may be tough to fend off these bad actors, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few ways to up your personal security to prevent social engineering attacks.

Use Firewalls

Firewalls are what gatekeeps the traffic that comes in and out of your network. As you may have guessed, this can keep malicious files from getting in, so not having one is almost asking for trouble.

Most (if not all) devices come with firewalls, so all you have to do is just turn it on. In many cases, the firewalls will automatically be on as soon as you purchase and turn on your device. So make sure you don’t turn them off.

Have a Good Antivirus Program

In addition to firewalls, you should have a good antivirus program. The more layers you have for cybersecurity, the better.

The antivirus software can detect any malicious files that may have made it through the firewalls and block them before they can do any harm on your computer. Many can even detect if you’re on a fake website and redirect you so it’s not possible to enter credentials unless you manually override it.

In addition to having a good antivirus program, make sure you run regular scans. You’ll also need to install updates and patches ASAP to decrease the chances of cybercriminals finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in your network.

Have a Good Password Policy

Every employee should have strong passwords on their devices and accounts. They should include lowercase letters, capital letters, numbers, and symbols if possible. They also should be non-dictionary words, since they’re harder to guess.

In addition, no passwords should be repeated for accounts. If each password is unique to every account, this means that even if a bad actor finds out a password, they can’t use it on all the person’s other accounts and gain access.

A great way to follow a good password policy is to use a password manager. This generates random and strong passwords, saves them in your browser in a secure and encrypted way, and also auto-fills pages for you. That way, you don’t have to remember anything and can keep all your passwords safe.

If it’s possible, you should also enable two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA). This is where you need to enter a code or verify your identity through a second step after entering your password. In the majority of cases, this can stop fraudsters from gaining access to your accounts.

Treat Every Email as Suspicious

When it comes to emails, “innocent until guilty” doesn’t apply at all. In fact, it’s better if you treat every communication as suspicious, even if you’re 100% sure it’s an authentic email.

You’ll want to carefully analyze the sender’s name, email address, salutation, body, and any images. Chances are, if it’s a social engineering attack, there will be spelling mistakes and syntax errors.

Also, there will most likely be an attachment. Don’t even download these without making sure they’re safe.

You can run an antivirus check on these files first, but you can also get in touch with the sender to double-check. For example, if you received an unexpected email from a coworker, you’ll want to send them a text or give them a call to see if they did indeed send that attachment.

Practice Good Digital Hygiene

When it comes to social engineering prevention, good digital hygiene is vital. You have to remember that cybercriminals are smart; they’ll scour the internet for personal information to better craft convincing emails.

For example, if you always post publicly that you always go shopping at a certain shop every Tuesday, they can create a fraudulent email from that company and send it to you on a Wednesday, citing that your online account’s been compromised. When they prompt you to go change your password, you won’t think twice about it.

If you and your employees keep your personal lives private on the internet, it’ll be a lot harder for fraudsters to personalize their social engineering attacks.

Employ the Services of a Consulting Company

Your employees are actually the most important part of your cybersecurity. You can have all the best technology in place, but if you don’t stop your workers from clicking on social engineering security attacks, there’s bound to be one that’ll eventually make its way into your network.

The best way to significantly upgrade your digital defenses is by raising organizational awareness.

A consulting company can do wonders for enterprise IT security and grow your business profit. They have the capabilities to perform threat simulations, penetration testing, application and web application testing to see where your company’s vulnerabilities lie about enterprise security.

Not only that, but they can also educate your workplace about how to avoid social engineering attacks and inform them about what the latest threats are so they know what to look out for.

If you’re interested in using a consulting company, check it out at Gray Tier Technologies.

How to Manage Social Engineering Attacks

Let’s say you’ve just realized that you or an employee has been a victim of social engineering lately. The damage has already been done—sensitive data has been shared enterprise security with a cybercriminal.

The unfortunate reality is, you most likely won’t figure out who carried out the attack and bring justice to them. However, the most important thing you can do is mitigate the damage.

As soon as you realize any accounts have been compromised, change the passwords on them. Make sure you use strong passwords and completely different ones for every account. Add those to your password manager.

If you think a fraudster’s gotten access to important things like your bank account or credit card accounts, get in touch with those institutes and let them know your accounts may have been compromised. They may be able to arrange for new accounts so those bad actors can’t access your funds or lines of credit.

If you choose not to go this route, the least you can do is keep a close eye on your accounts. Cybercriminals often choose not to take immediate action when they get your credentials. They like to wait so you get lulled into a false sense of security and drop your guard; when they attack enterprise security then, you’ll least expect it.

Of course, we highly recommend you close your accounts and open new ones if you believe the fraudsters have the credentials for those. But it’s completely up to you.

Protect Your Company With These Enterprise Security Best Practices

With a thorough understanding of social engineering attacks, you can prevent and manage these attacks with better security and business data recovery plan.

What’s most important is that you not only focus on upping your cybersecurity but also place an emphasis on workplace education. Your employees are your first line of defense, so ensure they feel knowledgeable and comfortable enough to come to you should they feel there’s a threat.

For more interesting reads, please take a look at our Technology section for more blog & articles.

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