Despite the substantial advancements in cybersecurity, large and small businesses continue to face attacks on their networks. In 2023, if you think data loss is not a significant problem, think again. Refer to our views on the “Impact of Data Loss on a Business” to realise the true extent of a data loss. Regulators worldwide refuse to turn a blind eye to poor data security practices. You can expect a hefty fine if your business suffers a data breach due to poor practices.
So, keep all these points in mind when you ignore the importance of data security.
Do you know the top reason behind a data breach or data leak? Most organisations don’t know that the primary cause of data breaches or leak is your people, i.e. employees. Over the years, cybercriminals have developed numerous ways to exploit the weakest link in your organisation. Today, Managed IT Services (MITS) Pakistan will discuss the top four ways cybercriminals exploit your employees.
Social Engineering Attacks
Cybercriminals use social engineering attacks to trick your employees into sharing information or doing something that they would not normally do. Social engineering attacks involve human interaction (online or in-person) and psychological tricks to get information from an unsuspecting person. There are numerous types of social engineering attacks to keep an eye on, such as:
It is perhaps the most common social engineering attack due to mainstream media coverage. What is phishing? It involves sending an employee an email or message with a link to a fraudulent website or tricking them into downloading a corrupt (that has a virus) file. After clicking the link or downloading the file, the cybercriminal can get into the employee’s system. Such an attack does not raise alarm bells as the organisation thinks the employee is accessing the system.
- Brand Impersonation
The next most common social engineering attack is brand impersonation. In it, the cybercriminal assumes the personality of a famous brand such as Apple, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Google, and Amazon. It might involve saying that you have earned free credit or you have been a new, lucrative job opportunity. A famous Indian journalist is a recent victim of this type of social engineering attack. She was offered a job at Harvard which was later found to be incorrect. She shared personal details with the cybercriminal(s) during the process.
- Disloyal Employees
As an organisation, you cannot assume that all employees are loyal because they are not and may be working for their benefit or another organisation. Usually, employees share sensitive data in exchange for monetary benefits or a job offer. It is referred to as quid pro quo. We recommend that you do not let unauthorised people access critical apps/systems. When you have a limited number of people with access to critical information, you can keep an eye on them.
- Business Email Compromise
It is the most damaging type of social engineering attack. The worrying thing is that it has very little to do with your employees. It involves cybercriminals impersonating your vendor. For example, if you have a vendor that supplies you with IT infrastructure, such as modems, cyber criminals will take on their identity. They will then send your employees an email asking them to clear their invoices. As your employees are already familiar with the vendor, they don’t hesitate to pay the invoice. Hence, it is the most financially damaging type of attack.
With a proactive approach towards cybersecurity, MITS can help you devise a comprehensive policy to protect your organisation against social engineering attacks. With considerable experience in managed IT security services, we can pinpoint your organisation’s weaknesses and overcome them. Contact us for further information about our services and how they can benefit your organisation.