Social engineering attacks are consistent and have grown increasingly complex. Organizations should employ the proper tools and follow ways to safeguard businesses efficiently.
While most companies know about cyberattacks and have significantly invested in security measures to reduce threats, attackers are still penetrating the security layers of businesses and spending time honing their attack methods. Social engineering attacks are one such successful method for them.
Even though it is challenging to eliminate the attacks, there are ways to reduce threats effectively. It is possible only if organizations take proactive measures at scale.
Here are the top effective ways businesses can follow to keep businesses safe from attacks. The impact of the threats is substantial; sometimes, they can affect the entire industry and cause huge monetary losses. So, companies must implement these preventive methods to stay safe from attacks.
Social engineering attacks occur as a result of a lack of frameworks.
Organizations should have a standard framework to handle sensitive information and safeguard it. Security leaders need to be sure that they share essential information following all organizational protocols only.
Also, differentiating information among different levels, such as priority, high-priority, risky, and crucial- helps keep it more secure. Moreover, organizations should check what information is being communicated internally and externally.
Establishing a standard information framework for managing sensitive organizational information will also allow employees to understand the importance of safeguarding data from social engineering attacks. In addition, proper training for all employees to adhere to protocols for handling data.
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Use a Good Spam Filter
Organizations need to use emails that contain filters. If the email program is not filtering spam mail or not marking emails as suspicious, then it is a matter of concern. In such a situation, security teams need to act on it quickly. Good spam filters recognize emails containing phishing links that can lead to the attacks to happen. The filters can detect suspicious files or links coming from a list of suspicious IP addresses or sender IDs. Thus, with an effective spam filter, security professionals can effectively eliminate the chances of the attacks through emails.
Secure All Devices
Organizations should put in extra effort to secure all virtual devices connected to business infrastructure to secure businesses from social engineering attacks. As most businesses are digital today, these attacks can affect company infrastructure and devices worse. Strict security protocols should be there for all devices, including smartphones, cloud networks, laptops, desktops, on-premise and off-premise servers, and all advanced systems connected to various functions of the organizations. Here are the things security teams can follow to prevent attacks on devices:
- Keep anti-malware and anti-virus software updated on all devices. Updated software helps prevent malware that usually enters through emails. Anti-malware software restricts the links from installing malicious software automatically and assures network and data protection.
- Avoid careless handling of tablets and smartphones embedded with core devices and systems. Also, computers and laptops should be protected using solid firewalls and not under administrator mode. Social engineering attacks also happen through user passwords for user accounts. So keeping the password of all devices protected will prevent them from attacks.
- Organizations should not keep similar passwords for all accounts and systems. Social engineering attacks happen quickly if businesses use similar and simple account passwords. So, to break the chain here, using different and challenging passwords for accounts and systems is vital.
- Using two-factor and multi-factor authentication (MFA) is essential for critical accounts to prevent such attacks.
Regular Tests & Reviews
Security teams must evaluate and frequently assess all preventive cybersecurity measures that firms have implemented to prevent social engineering risks. A robust social engineering attack framework is necessary to ensure the workforce can prevent phishing attacks.
Use penetration testing techniques to test every security system in different ways. It is because hackers can exploit even a single vulnerability. So conducting regular vulnerability scanning to identify new security loopholes is critical. In addition, security leaders should also keep a close check on systems that houses sensitive information around the clock. When specific exploiting procedures are employed, like Trojans, teams should regularly scan external and internal systems.
Utilize Cloud-based WAF
Organizations using firewalls can now upgrade to install web application cloud-based firewalls into their infrastructure. The advanced cloud-based WAF provides integrated protection against social engineering attacks. Many companies leverage web WAF due to its high capacity and capability to escape the attacks.
Web WAF constantly monitors websites for abnormal activity and suspicious incidents. This security system blocks the attacks and alerts security teams for malware attacks or installations. Implementing risk-free WAF is one of the most effective ways to protect against the attacks. These were the effective ways organizations could safeguard their digital businesses in the wake of rising social engineering threats and attacks.
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Recognizing Social Engineering Threats are an Important Prevention
Social engineering prevention measures also require awareness of recognizing threats so that security teams should understand what new ways are evolving in social engineering attacks. Here is a compilation of indicators that may attempt in the future, and the team can take immediate security prevention steps to avert attacks and their impacts. Security teams can detect social engineering threats when they keep an eye over:
- Receiving emails from a trusted source and forcing the receiver to click on an irrelevant link
- Receiving a company email from a known website but with an unusual domain name
- Social engineers may ask for verification requests such as OTPs, change passwords or codes without any attempt towards it
- Social engineers may send automated verifying information requests, including links
- Social engineers may pose as s customer service agents to assist and ask to ‘respond’ to take assistance
- Access request for location
- Repeated sign-in attempts carried out on an unrecognized device
These are some of the actions that might emerge as social engineering threats but are not limited to the above.
Even after implementing proper preventive cyber security measures, an incident response plan should be prepared to assist security teams in remaining reactive if an attacker breaches an unknown security gap.
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