As we see major companies falling to ransomware attacks, like the recent Colonial Pipeline attack that caused a gas shortage, cybercriminals are gaining confidence. Ransomware attacks are becoming the norm and you need to protect your business now.
Social engineering is at the heart of many ransomware attacks, and everyone with a computer should be familiar with how to recognize and avoid these attacks. Its crazy to think that small steps like employee training, enabling a DNS filter, or regular network monitoring could have stopped major ransomware attacks that are costing companies millions of dollars.
What is Social Engineering?
Social engineering is the art of manipulating, influencing, or deceiving you in order to gain control over your computer system. The hacker can use a large variety of tactics in the execution of this kind of attack: email phishing, voice scams, and CEO fraud are all examples. They could pose as Microsoft or your IT company asking for your help in implementing a patch or fixing a virus on your system—their “fix” will contain the problem and will compromise your system. These kinds of scams will become more prevalent as hackers try to prey on people working remotely.
These people will show up claiming they want to help you, but that is entirely false. These people’s actions can ruin even large corporations if the target is ignorant or careless with the risks. Don’t be the person that adds to that risk. So how do you protect yourself?
How to Avoid Social Engineering Attacks
The single biggest actions you can take against social engineering attacks are:
1. Educate your team.
Teaching your employees how to spot phishing attempts and educating them on the tactics attackers use to gain access to their systems is one of the most effective ways to boost security. We also recommend following training with regular test phishing attempts to ensure that employees can spot the attack and the training worked.
2. Utilize tools that help you reduce successful social engineering attacks.
Setting up DNS email filters, flagging emails that come from outside your organization, and setting your email inbox to display the email address instead of the name can help your employees easily identify potential phishing emails, or block most of them from reaching their inbox.
3. Set up clearly defined policies to help tighten general IT security.
Enacting policies that reduce the likelihood of successful attacks can help keep your business safe. Implementing strict policy guidelines about any form of money transfer or payment system, utilizing user-based permissions so not everyone has full access to your data, and requiring multi-factor authentication and regular password updates are all great first steps.
If you’re looking for a reliable IT resource, Attentus would be happy to set up a call with you and talk over your needs. Give us a call!