Business owners, it is time to protect your company from cyber attackers. Share this article with your employees so they are informed on ways they can be taken advantage of by cyber attacks.
The tactics and strategies of cyber attackers continue to get smarter and more socially developed. The most recent and now prevalent type of cyber attack utilizes social engineering.
What Is A Social Engineering Cyber Attack
A cyber attack performed through social engineering is essentially a strategy where the attacker poses as someone within your company, or as someone who can have permission to enter your company. Whether it be online or through a database.
Mid-size to large businesses are most susceptible to this form of cyber attack because not everyone knows each other in a large business and the attacker essentially slips into the crowd and tries to act like one of the employees. By acting like an employee the cyber attacker can slowly, or quickly gain access to classified material or documents that can compromise your business and cost you thousands or millions.
Ways A Social Engineered Cyber Attack Can Occur
The form of a socially engineered cyber attack can come in a variety of ways and through a variety of mediums. Below we have examples of the most common ways.
1. Social Engineering Cyber Attack Through Email
The first and most common way any scammer or cyber attacker will try to infiltrate a business is through email. Emails are the easiest form of communication and are most commonly used in business.
We are so used to being contacted by someone overseas looking to give us millions of dollars, they just need our banking information. Some of the stories scammers come up with in your spam folder are quite entertaining. In comparison to the run-of-the-mill scam email, the ones designed to penetrate your business’s security in a cyber attack are much more insidious. Here are are how they do it:
The attacker poses as somebody in your company by creating an email that looks like this: firstname.lastname@example.org. But in actuality your email and website’s URL is yourwebsite.com. When looking at a sender’s address it can be easy to overlook. With this detail being overlooked the fake manager can quickly gain access to passwords or email logins from the newly hired employee. Make sure you inform all new employees of this cyber-attack tactic.
2. Social Engineering Cyber Attack Through Phone
Sometime’s cyber attackers can find your employees’ phone numbers. If you use cell phones you are even more susceptible to a cyber attack because the attacker will not call your employee, they will text. Here is how they perform this cyber attack:
Imagine an employee is pouring over their work at their computer, organizing spreadsheets, sending emails and suddenly they get a text. The text identifies the sender as (Maybe: Business Owner’s Name) and then the message says, “Hi employee name! I’m at a meeting right now so I can’t call but I need you to do a favor for me. It is of the utmost urgency.” And all of a sudden, the employee thinks they are sending over documents to the business owner, doing them a huge favor when in actuality they are compromising the business’s cyber security and costing the business thousands of dollars.
3. Social Engineering Cyber Attack Through Social Media
While social media is a less common way of cyber attacking a business, it is an extremely effective way. There are two ways a cyber attacker can infiltrate your business through social media.
First, they can hack into any of your employee’s social media accounts and utilize them to gain information from other employees. This is less common, but your employees’ level of online security does carry over to your business’s digital security.
Second, similar to the first two, a person creates a fake social media account and acts like an employee. This would most likely occur on LinkedIn. Say for instance an older person in your business does not have a LinkedIn account. A cyber attacker can get all the information they need on one of your employees and create a fake LinkedIn profile to easily start a cyber attack on your business.
How Do You Stop Social Engineering Cyber Attacks?
Get cyber liability insurance. Communicate with your employees. Send them this article so they are aware of the risks. Set up policies like, communicating or sending core business information over social media. And most importantly, inform your newly hired employees during their training. They are the most susceptible to receiving a cyber attack, so having them informed from the first day will protect your business’s cyber security.
Contact Strickler Insurance For Cyber Insurance
Make sure your business is protected from cyber attacks by getting cyber insurance for your business. Strickler Insurance provides a wide range of industries business insurance and cyber insurance. Contact us today!