7 Ways to Prevent Social Engineering Attacks for Any Business
Social engineering is the practice of using manipulation tactics to exploit human error and gain access to sensitive information. These scams are usually targeted at unsuspecting users to expose data, infect networks with ransomware or malware, or gain access to restricted areas. As technology advances, these scams are becoming incredibly common.
In one attack performed on a UK energy provider in 2019, a CEO thought he received a call from his “boss” requesting that he transfer over $240,000 dollars to one of their suppliers. Unfortunately, he ended up transferring that money to the hacker's account. This was done using a tool called "deep fake" which made it sound like the CEO's boss was the one on the phone. How can you prevent yourself from becoming a victim from such social engineering attacks?
With proper protocol and cybersecurity measures, you and your business can remain properly protected. Here are 7 ways of how to prevent social engineering attacks.
1. Enabling MFA
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the best tools to prevent social engineering attacks. MFA requires users trying to access the system for additional information. If the information is not filled in, access is denied. Typically, MFA can be anything from biometric access, security questions, or a number or password sent to the users’ phones. Being vigilant or skeptical of any request to access to your system can save your business, and even a simple, additional step can significantly upgrade your network’s defenses.
2. Monitoring Your Critical Systems
Monitoring your systems is a must if you want to prevent social engineering attacks. According to IBM, the average time it takes for a company to realize that its systems have been breached is 197 days. The average time to contain a breach is an additional 69 days. Fortunately, hiring services like BTI’s RMM (Remote Monitoring Management) service will allow you to have experts monitoring your systems 24/7.
3. Verifying Your Emails
One of the most effective ways to prevent social engineering attacks is by verifying the source of the emails that you receive. Phishing attacks are the most common way to gain access to an organization’s sensitive data. In these attacks, hackers replicate emails from companies like banks, credit card companies, social media companies, and online stores.
Their emails request recipients click a false link, then enter personal information or login credentials. To prevent this kind of social engineering attack, pay close attention to the sender of the email. Most of the time these emails include:
● Variations of the “company email address”
● A sense of urgency
● Requests for confidential information through email
4. Penetration Testing
Regularly conducting penetration testing will allow your business to successfully prevent social engineering attacks. This practice allows you to discover vulnerabilities in your network. If your pen-tester is successful, you now know where the vulnerabilities of your network are and where you need to concentrate your security efforts.
5. Updating Your Systems Regularly
Patches and updates are done for a reason. Every time a new patch or update is released it comes with protection against new vulnerabilities that were detected. Failing to update or patch your systems leaves them vulnerable to attacks. Keeping all software systems updated with the latest security patches and preventative measures means that your defenses stay strong against new threats.
6. Training Your Employees
The first line of defense against social engineering attacks is a company’s employees. If you want to successfully prevent social engineering attacks, you must have a properly trained staff that can combat threats and respond in times of crisis.
7. Having Proper Physical Security Measures
Bad actors will do everything to get a hold of your critical information. Piggybacking and tailgating are common practices used to gain physical access to your business and cause harm to sensitive data.
Tailgating involves an outsider gaining access to a restricted area by following an employee inside the building. Piggybacking is like tailgating, but in this instance, employees are deceived into letting someone inside the company. For this practice, bad actors typically pretend to be a delivery service to access your premises. Therefore, having solutions like access control and video surveillance systems is crucial for every business.
BTI: Your Partner in Preventing Social Engineering Attacks
Looking for the best way to prevent social engineering attacks? IT solutions like BTI’s can help you create the perfect awareness program for your employees, so everyone can be prepared to respond to your organization’s specific security needs! We can manage, co-manage, integrate, install, maintain, and monitor all your solutions 24/7 at a low price! Don’t risk your organization becoming the next victim of social engineering attacks! Contact us now.