How can you protect against social engineering attacks?


Social engineering attacks are a method hackers use to try to steal your money or data. They can target you through text, email, or automated voice messages. To protect your organization, it is essential to understand these attacks and how to fight against them.

Understanding social engineering attacks

Social engineering is a tactic used by hackers that utilizes psychological manipulation to trick you into revealing sensitive information or downloading malware.

One common social engineering attack technique is DNS spoofing. This technique attempts to get you to click on a link that redirects you to a malicious site, often designed to scare you into buying fake security software.

The psychological manipulation tactics used in social engineering can include:

  • Heightened emotions – when angry or excited, you’re more likely to make risky decisions.
  • Trust – pretending to be from a trusted source, either a person or a business, increases the possibility of your response.
  • Urgency – where they rush a decision before you can think too critically about it.

Empowering employees with security awareness

Just as military training helps soldiers react appropriately in emotional situations, so can proper employee training. It involves teaching employees to think before responding to any email, text, or phone call where their emotions might be heightened.

Other red flags to consider are:

  • If the email address they’re using or the domain name they’re trying to send you to uses misspellings or doesn’t match.
  • If it doesn’t sound like something your friend or trusted source may send.
  • If the website is of low quality, such as low-resolution photos and typos.
  • If the link name or attachment file name seems vague.

Further training may include recognizing phishing emails and suspicious requests and encouraging verification requests. You may even conduct simulated social engineering exercises.

Implementing security controls and policies

Some basic security controls you should implement are:

  • Email filtering and anti-phishing software
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • Role-based access controls (RBAC) – where network access is restricted based on a person’s role

Are you protected enough against social engineering attacks? We can set up the cybersecurity tools you need and provide training for your organization. Contact TeamLogic IT today.

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