Social Engineering in cyber-attacks.

Social Engineering is the use of manipulation to exploit people into divulging sensitive information. This week we will be talking about social engineering and the role it plays in cybercrimes. While cyber-attacks are based online the information needed to start an attack is often obtained through real-world interactions and conversations. We hope by learning about social engineering you can protect yourself from it in the future.

In 2019 the estimated total losses from company emails being compromised were 1.7 billion dollars.  The average social engineering attack is around 130,000 dollars brought up by either money directly stolen or the value of the data destroyed and that is only the direct cost. These attackers can also go after clients instead of the company itself and cause havoc that way as well. Click here to learn more about the impact of social engineering and how it is used to take advantage of others.

While these attacks seem terrifyingly effective they hinge on the fact of being able to trick the victim so educating yourself on how these attacks happen can make the difference. Social engineering attacks generally follow four stages to be effective. First, the attacker needs to gather information on the target which leads to the second step. The attacker makes contact with the target under the guise of impersonation using information gathered to gain trust. The third step is when the attacker uses persuasion techniques to get sensitive information such as usernames and passwords. Once completed the attacker can wreak havoc and move on to the next victim.

We hope you can make use of this information to protect yourself from methods like this if you are unfortunate enough to have an encounter.

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