Social engineering is on the rise today and no company or organization is immune to this very real threat. While most people are aware of this problem, not many are aware of how to handle this issue and what steps one can take to avoid such future attacks. It becomes especially important for the enterprise sector to try and prevent social engineers from hacking into their systems, thereby getting hold of sensitive company and employee data. Here are methods an enterprise can use to minimize incidences of social engineering.
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Educate Staff on Corporate Security
The best way to combat social engineers is to educate the staff about the actual dangers of such a thing, making them aware of the importance of security. Here is what you could do to promote awareness among your staff:
Give your staff regular updates on the latest security threats and common strategies that social engineers use to gain access into the office premises. Ask them to refrain from keeping in touch with anyone who requests account and password details and tell them that should they encounter anything fishy, they should immediately bring this to the notice of the company’s security managers.
Conducting regular workshops on safety tips, password management and wireless security in the office environment will be of great help to your organization. You should think of adding a comprehensive help page on security on your website, which your employees can refer to. Additionally, you could put up eye-catching posters in frequently visited places such as coffee rooms, fax rooms and so on. If possible, keep changing these posters, so that they maintain the reader’s interest.
Perform random security checks in office and offer rewards and special mention for those who stick to your security standards and/or successfully thwart security infringement attempts. Acknowledging their commitment goes a long way in reinforcing their own loyalty, while also inspiring other employees to do the same.
Learn from Previous Lessons
In case your company was the victim of an unfortunate social engineering attack, make it a point to share it with all your employees. Also conduct study on other such case histories along with your staff, so that they are also made aware of the possible techniques that a social engineer could use in order to gain access to your company data.
The higher officials of the company, such as managers, directors and CEOs are often at the highest risk from social engineers. These criminals will stop at nothing to gain all the information they need. Hence, it would be most desirable never to share too much personal information online. People tend to share many of their interests and activities on popular social networks today. While this helps them find like-minded others online, this makes them even more vulnerable to hackers, lying in wait for extra information.
Employees who keep their security levels low are easy targets for social engineers. Employees should hence be trained to maintain higher security levels at all times. You could also run random checks with penetration testers. These hired professionals keep tabs on online company activity, also alerting the head if they happen to catch any irregular or suspicious online movement.
Conduct Regular Security Training Drills
Conducting regular mock security drills in office will automatically train your employees to become more vigilant to social engineering efforts.
You could additionally give them a list of certain catchwords and phrases that a hacker will most probably use while putting his/her mission into action. This word or phrase would immediately alert your employee of potential risk lurking online.
Also ask your staff to pause and think in times of crisis. It is only natural to rush to find a solution while in trouble. However, doing things in haste could make matters worse. Train your staff to stop, think things over and then try to figure out a solution for the problem.
Complete online security is only a myth today. While there is no way to completely prevent social engineering, the above-mentioned steps will hopefully help you and your office staff effectively combat such instances in the future.