Social engineering is one of the most sophisticated forms of computer attacks. Normally, one can attack a website in many ways. This include running complex password tracking programs, taking advantage of software errors, or brute force.
However, the best way for an attacker to access your servers and steal confidential information is very simple. It is enough for the attacker to get their target to give them all the information they need, without realizing it and suspecting anything. That way, your consumers may unwillingly and unknowingly open the door of your business to a hacker.
But can anyone really get me to give my password?
Yes, it is possible and in essence it is very simple. You do not have to be a large company with many assets or with confidential information to attract unwanted attention. It is enough that you have something of value or that hackers can take money from you in some way or the other. For example, they can pretend to know the provider, in order to get money transfers to account numbers managed by the hackers themselves.
The techniques to get information without using any tools, so to speak, vary greatly. For example, “the email of a friend” – if someone gets access to your email account where you have sensitive information, social media passwords, and of course, your contacts.
From that point on, you can send emails with malicious links, attachments with malware, etc. The viability of this technique is based on the fact that your contacts will receive messages from you, whom they actually trust.
Undoubtedly, the most well-known social engineering scenario is phishing. This is a situation when you receive an email, instant message, comment or text message that seems to come from a legitimate, popular company, bank, school or institution. It will seem as a legitimate message, but the objective is the theft of your personal data. This can be the key to access electronic banking, or the key to access the backoffice of your business.
How to avoid any social engineering attack
- Do not act on impulse. Attackers are take comfort in the possibility that people act before thinking. This is something that can happen if the deception is sufficiently elaborated. Therefore, in the face of an emergency, before an attempt to do something in a hurry – wait, reflect, and review everything with great attention.
- You always have to look for evidence. Did you receive an unsolicited message? Is it from someone you know, from a supplier, from the company that provides you with the software? Check carefully the content, what they ask you, why they can do it, etc. If you have suspicions, contact the alleged issuer through the official channels (never by answering the message).
- Eliminate all requests for information such as a password, financial information or private information. No bank requests private information by email, and in addition, it is never necessary.
- Never respond to requests or offers of help. A legitimate company does not contact anyone to offer help without prior request. If you have not started a consultation with us, it is best to delete the message directly.
- Finally, you should never follow a link from a dubious email, even if it is a message sent by a friend, a customer or a provider. All these messages usually have more than enough material to wave your red flags.
Social engineering attacks can be really sly, so make sure that you carefully deal with all your business online. We at TechBear can ensure the safety of your business website and maintain it regularly, but the human aspect of it all requires you to be very shrewd about this. If you feel like it’s time to improve your online presence, you can always take TechBear’s free SEO test. The results will tell you what the weakest aspects of your website are. TechBear also offers expert web design and development services, regular website maintenance, top notch SEO, ADA audit, blog content creation and social media management. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!