Phishing and social engineering continue to be some of the hottest topics in today’s world. How are you protecting your organization from bad actors who leverage the COVID-19 crisis to frame digital attacks? Are you ready to face rising cyber threats that continue to evolve every day?

Let’s talk about the nature of cyber-attacks including social engineering and phishing and consider a solution to protect your business, employees and mission-critical infrastructures.

What Is a Social Engineering Attack?

Have you ever received an unsolicited email from someone you don’t know asking to provide access to a company account or share confidential information? If so, you were most likely targeted by a bad actor attempting to use social engineering. Today, cybercriminals use different methods to get victims to take action that goes against their better judgment. These attackers are pros at manipulating our emotions to make us act irrationally.

Here is what you need to know about social engineering attacks. First, a bad actor contacts an inside employee in an effort to obtain information about an organization. Next, the attacker attempts to incentivize the victim to give away sensitive data or access critical resources. If that doesn’t work with one person, he or she will move on to the next victim to gain a foothold and to ultimately execute the attack. After an attack has been carried out, the offender will close the interaction, cover tracks and remove all traces of malware without causing suspicion.

Social engineering attacks are especially dangerous because they target your people, not your machines, . This makes them less predictable than traditional attacks against your IT infrastructure. Social engineers manipulate human behavior by leveraging fear, curiosity and other human emotions. Preventing these attacks largely depends on the level of preparedness and adequate employee training. Regular drills and educational sessions will not only provide tools for recognizing social engineering attacks, but they will also help your team stay calm and effectively deal with the situation at hand.

What Is a Phishing Attack?

Another wide-spread type of malicious attack is phishing. If you have ever received a message asking to download an unsolicited attachment or follow a questionable link, you are probably familiar with this type of action. Phishing attacks are executed in the form of an email or text campaign that generates curiosity, creates a sense of urgency or promotes fear. For example, you may receive an email from someone posing as a C-level executive asking you to follow a link to an unfamiliar website. By following this link, you may unknowingly introduce malware to your organization. As a result of a simple exchange between two people, a company can fall victim to security breaches and encounter unprecedented losses.

While every country has its own cybercrime laws, it’s important to remember that prevention is key to avoiding attacks that cause serious damage. That’s why adequate training in identifying and preventing phishing attacks should be your top priority.

How Can Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks Be Prevented?

Education is very important if your organization aims to prevent cyber attacks. We can all follow
basic common sense advice not to open emails from unrecognized senders or click unknown links. But your employees should also understand the magnitude of cyber attacks and be trained on how to detect and prevent them. They must know what to do when they receive a phishing email and what protocols they should follow to minimize cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

The best form of education to help users achieve a high level of preparedness is security awareness training. Security awareness training offers everyone in the organization a robust set of tools to detect, confront, and prevent social engineering and phishing attacks. If your company works with PCI (Payment Card Initiative Compliance), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) or ISO (International Organization for Standardization), security awareness training is one of the most valuable layers of your IT security framework.

Here at Atris, we’ve developed strong relationships with top-of-the-line security awareness training providers. Our educational resources include the world’s largest library of content, fully automated simulated phishing attacks, management materials and more. We custom-create programs that are unique to your organization’s needs and goals and provide the necessary tools to help you achieve a high level of preparedness. Contact us today to learn more.