Since the pandemic, the number of cyber-attacks has ballooned at a massive rate. Threat actors, in an effort to capitalize the vulnerabilities due to the acceleration of digital transformation initiatives, have been using sophisticated techniques to exploit a network. Among them, social engineering emerged as a key aspect. In fact, as per a report from Verizon titled “2021 Data Breach Investigation Report,” social engineering attacks are responsible for 93% of successful data breaches. Given the severity of the situation, organizations must equip themselves with the right set of tools. They should strive to keep up with social engineering attack trends that will enable them to understand the actions needed to prevent or minimize the loss of revenue due to interruption of business operations.
Here are five social engineering strategies that CISOs should incorporate to mitigate social engineering attacks:
Foster a positive security culture
Most organizations and executives have a tendency to believe that it has been their employees’ mistakes that lead the threat actors to successfully execute their social engineering. However, the success of social engineering attacks is not because of an employee’s stupidity but because of misplaced trust.
Today’s social engineering techniques are increasingly becoming sophisticated, making employees increasingly vulnerable to them. Therefore, CISOs should ensure that the employees across the enterprise are aware of their security responsibilities. They should empower employees to report the potential phishing attacks instead of making them feel that they will get themselves in trouble. This will enable security leaders to save their valuable employees while responding to a security incident.
Keep monitoring critical systems within the infrastructure
When threat actors deploy certain social engineering malware such as Trojans, they often increasingly rely on critical systems, which are vulnerable to them. Therefore, CISOs should have a system in place that houses sensitive data that is being monitored 24*7. These systems should scan for both external and internal systems with web application scanning that will empower them to determine vulnerabilities in the system environment.
Determine the critical assets
Often, when organizations begin to concentrate their attention on safeguarding their assets, they are focused on them from a business perspective. While protecting the business assets is crucial, hackers often seek vulnerabilities that are valuable to them and have a high probability of not being the ones that executives are focused on. They can use these unchecked vulnerabilities for exploitation. Therefore, CISO should evaluate their IT infrastructure from threat actors’ perspectives. They should determine what they should protect and consider the assets beyond their product, service, or intellectual property.
Opt for tailored cyber insurance
Cyber insurance provides organizations with a financial backup that covers risks associated with network security failures, privacy breaches as well as social engineering. As organizations become increasingly dependent on IT, CISOs should ensure that their insurance programs align with these ever-increasing threats. They should collaborate with insurance providers and ask them to tailor their premiums according to the risks involved.