In a rapidly evolving digital world, every business is concerned about cybersecurity. Most companies already implement various security measures to deter cyber threats. However, one vulnerability that’s tough to eliminate is human error.
No matter how secure your network is, cybercriminals can still skirt around security parameters and exploit human error. Such tactics are known as social engineering.
Social engineering comes in many forms. A good example is when a cybercriminal poses as an IT professional and requests login details from a staff member to solve a network problem. If that staff member hands over the information, a significant data breach occurs. The social engineer didn’t have to resort to hacking or using malware.
Fortunately, you can strengthen your security and ward off social engineers. Here are 7 things you can do to protect your business from social engineering attacks.
1. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Choosing strong passwords is excellent, but you need to implement additional layers of verification before granting access to confidential data.
Consider using biometric verification, OTP (One Time Password) codes delivered to a phone or email account, or additional security questions.
2. Use a Cloud-based Next-Generation Web Application Firewall (WAF)
These firewalls go beyond traditional ones that simply detect suspicious traffic or block network access to incoming connections. NGFWs include intrusion prevention and deep packet inspection. They can alert you to suspicious behavior that may prevent malware from entering your network.
3. Monitor Your Network 24/7
Frequently scan internal and external systems to find vulnerabilities. Also, consider performing a social engineering test to determine whether employees apply adequate measures to avoid giving away sensitive information.
4. Regularly Update Security Patches
Cybercriminals are always searching for weaknesses throughout your system and to gain unauthorized access to your databases. Therefore, always ensure security patches are up to date and that web browsers, software, and applications have the latest version installed.
5. Enable Your Spam Filter
Social engineers will use emails to phish for information, so make sure your spam filters are switched on. A good spam filter will help categorize emails automatically, alerting you to potential fraudulently content, links or attachments.
6. Observe SSL Certificates
Obtaining SSL certificates for your domains ensures that data transferred between a web browser and servers are encrypted. An SSL provides adequate protection from eavesdropping on communications.
Additionally, you can verify whether each website you visit is secure by checking the URL. A URL that begins with https:// is trustworthy as it offers a safe and encrypted connection. In contrast, http:// should be avoided or used with caution.
7. Verify the Identity of Emails Received
As social engineers prefer to masquerade as a legitimate users, it’s imperative to seek verification of the sender in each important email you receive.
Social engineers are experts at crafting emails that appear to be sent from your bank, credit card company, social networking sites, or online stores. Therefore, you should contact the apparent sender, via another method, of the email to confirm whether they sent the email.
Social engineering attacks rely on human error and manipulation to extract confidential information. They can inflict much damage by entering databases or accounts and performing actions that result in financial losses or installing malware onto your network.
Follow the above tips, and you’ll undoubtedly protect your business from social engineers and give them a more challenging time penetrating your business.