What is Social Engineering?

July 27, 2021

Cybercriminals have a wide variety of tactics they use to infiltrate networks, impersonate people or businesses, and steal all of the information they possibly can. What's similar about many of these tactics is that they all involve a process called social engineering.

What is social engineering?

Social engineering is the psychological manipulation of people into performing tasks or providing sensitive information. It is often used as a tactic in phishing or spoofing scams to gain access to confidential information, systems, and logins through earning the confidence and trust of the unsuspecting target.

How does social engineering work?

Social engineering can happen in one step but it is usually more complex. First, a scammer researches the intended target to learn necessary background information they could use to carry out the attack. This can include potential points of entry into a system or weak network security protocols. Next, the attacker works to gain the target's trust

How can you prevent an attack using social engineering?

Check the sender

Verify the address is legitimate and not being spoofed. Most businesses have an email signature that combines the user's first and last names, some with initials and some without. Don't be afraid to reach out to the sender via another form of communication to make sure the message is coming directly from the real sender.

Don't engage with suspicious emails or messages

If the message is at all suspicious, do not download or open any attachments, and do not click any links. They can contain malicious software that can download onto your device or network and compromise your security.

Utilize multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible

Login credentials are always sought after by cyberattackers. Using MFA adds an additional step to the login process that even if your entire system or a piece of your login information is compromised, the attacker will still be unable to gain access.

Keep your antivirus software updated

By keeping your antivirus up-to-date and activated, it can prevent malware from ever causing any harm by recognizing, quarantining, and deleting harmful software. A Managed IT service provider like CDS can make sure that your antivirus is current and operating correctly, as well as maintain your firewall, backup all of your data both onsite and on the cloud, and handle any potential entry point into your network before any cyberattack happens. Click below to schedule a free IT consultation to walk you through potential current security risks and actionable steps to make sure you are protected from cyberattacks, all at a lower, predictable cost.

Schedule a free IT consolation today! Click here to find out how.

Social engineering is just one weapon in the arsenal of cyberattackers that you should be aware of. Staying proactive, always verifying, and implementing the above precautions will help prevent most cyberattacks that can severely harm you, your business, and your clients. Stay proactive and always verify.


About CDS

Beyond copiers and printers, CDS offers a full suite of technology solutions ranging from Managed Print Services, to Managed IT Services, and Project-Based IT Services, providing our customers a Single Source for all their business technology needs.

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