The risks of social engineering for businesses

Here at Creative Network Solutions, we are Manchester’s leading IT support and network services experts. From secure remote access services to business VoIP, we are the team you can count on. As a result, we have produced this guide to everything Small to Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs) should know about social engineering and cyber crime.

What is social engineering?

Social engineering is a specific type of cyber crime that involves duping people into falling for believable and realistic scams. This is all about psychological manipulation that will make you think the request for access, or money, for example, is a legitimate request from someone you know.

What are the the risks of social engineering for businesses?

For companies and businesses, social engineering attempts are usually set up to look like a request from one of your partner companies, and this might not even be out of the ordinary. As a result, you won’t notice the intrusion, or damage, until it is too late. This then allows criminals to steal sensitive financial data, passwords to corporate accounts, or even access to devices in order to install malware or keyloggers.

Social engineering is a very successful option for many cyber criminals. While it make take many hours of hard work to bypass security protocols, and access this data digitally, it only takes a matter of seconds for an employee to open a suspicious link, and infect the network. This can lead to your sensitive data being stolen, your company being at risk of ransomware attacks, and it can also damage the reputation of your company too.

How can SMBs prevent social engineering and cyber crime attacks?

So, how exactly can these social engineering attacks be prevented from causing damage? Well, there are a number of things SMBs should consider, including:

  • Effective staff training- the employees themselves are the ones at risk through this type of criminal activity. In some cases, the criminals will go to great lengths to find out about this person, and use psychological manipulation techniques to get the outcome they want. This means that the only way to really prevent this type of damage is to train staff fully, and effectively. Phishing emails are the most prevalent type of social engineering attacks and training your staff to recognise these, and report these, can be a straight forward way to keep your company safe.
  • Installing anti-virus software and security solutions- in the event that your employee is caught out by a social engineering attack, you will need effective security systems in place to minimize damage caused and restrict the unwanted activity. The latest anti-virus and malware software will be necessary, and it’s important to make sure that this is kept up to date, to protect your business from the most recent malware developments.

For more information or advice, about our services, including security, cloud data backup and more, why not get in touch with the team today, here at Creative Network Solutions.