Social engineering is a technique used to manipulate people into revealing confidential information or performing unwanted actions.
Attackers use psychological strategies to trick victims into gaining access to sensitive company systems and data. Risks to company systems include loss of confidential information, such as passwords and customer data, and unauthorized access to internal systems. There may also be service disruptions and loss of revenue due to the shutdown of critical systems.
The most common methods of social engineering range from Phishing (sending emails or text messages that appear to be from a trusted source, such as a bank or company, to request personal or financial information, to Scareware (using fear to persuade people to download malicious software or disclose personal information).
The sectors most affected by social engineering include finance, security, technology, healthcare, retail and the public sector. CTOs (Chief Technology Officers) can implement several strategies to reduce the risks of social engineering in their organizations:
- Education and awareness: it is important to educate employees about the dangers of social engineering and how to detect and avoid attacks.
- Security measures: implement additional security measures, such as the use of intrusion detection software, two-factor authentication and data encryption to protect sensitive company information.
- Policies and procedures: establish clear security policies and procedures and ensure that all employees understand and follow them. This may include policies for password management, use of mobile devices and handling of suspicious emails.
- Monitoring and detection: implement monitoring and detection measures to quickly detect and respond to social engineering attacks.
- Penetration testing: perform periodic penetration tests to identify weaknesses in the system and take steps to correct them.
- Risk analysis: constantly evaluate the risk of social engineering and establish priorities to mitigate the highest risks.