Social engineering works by exploiting human psychology. Attackers will use social cues to influence victims into trusting them and acting against their interests. The goal of the attacker is to get the target to take actions such as giving away personal information or downloading malicious software.
Social engineering is a type of malicious attack used by cybercriminals to gain access to an organization’s sensitive data and resources. This attack usually involves manipulating individuals into providing confidential information or performing actions that can put the business at risk. Social engineers use tactics such as impersonation, phishing, pretexting, and more to take advantage of unsuspecting people. They often target vulnerable individuals within an organization, such as interns or low-level employees, who may not be aware of the security risks involved with providing data or access to a system.
Social engineering attacks can take many forms, but the most common methods include:
Social engineering works by exploiting human psychology. Attackers will use social cues, such as flattery or authority, to influence their victims into trusting them and acting against their better judgment. They will also use the power of suggestion and manipulation to get people to take actions that would otherwise be out of character. This can include anything from revealing confidential information to clicking a malicious link.
The goal of the attacker is to get the target to take an action that they otherwise wouldn't allow them to, such as giving away personal information or downloading malicious software. Social engineering attacks can be targeted at any type of user, from individuals and small businesses all the way up to large corporations.
Read more about a cyber-attack on Uber that made global media headlines in September 2022 when a threat actor infiltrated the company’s internal systems where social engineering techniques were used.
Organizations and individuals can protect their assets from social engineering attacks by taking a few simple steps, which include:
See below to learn all about IRONSCALES™ award-winning social engineering protection tools.
IRONSCALES™ provides mailbox-level fraud and anomaly detection that conventional Secure Email Gateways (SEG) miss. Our social engineering solution:
A researcher at IRONSCALES recently discovered thousands of business email credentials stored on multiple web servers used by attackers to host spoofed Microsoft Office 365 login pages.