The beauty of being human is that we are flawed and we make mistakes. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there trying to take advantage of those small mistakes that could cost businesses millions of dollars.
You might have heard the term social engineering which is otherwise known as a way of taking advantage of human behavior. So, that one small mistake might lead to stolen confidential information. These scams have been around for several decades but are on the rise thanks to the internet and the rise of electronic communication.
Why social engineering is working is because it’s easier for hackers to manipulate the tendency to trust someone than to conceive a plan to access a computer. Interestingly, these attacks aren’t always happening online. These attackers could find ways of reaching employees and tricking them into getting sensitive information like passwords over the phone by disguising themselves as tech support. In turn, they would be able to access all sensitive information and mount a cyber attack on the business.
By the time employees figure out that they’ve been conned, it’s probably too late. A business would be left dealing with countless costs like impacted customers may claim personal and privacy injury damages, intellectual property infringement or even financial injury. Moreover, they would be dealing with a significant interruption to their business, apart from possibly dealing with a PR nightmare.
Educating employees about potential threats is a very important line of defense apart from business insurance coverage. It’s also advisable companies place protocols that help prevent social engineering attacks. This includes guidelines for all personnel to change their passwords regularly. It would also behoove companies to establish a standard on how information is shared while making sure not everyone has access to sensitive data. There should be policies put in place on how sensitive information is disseminated and acquired. And, what essentially seems like a no-brainer is enforcing that all employees wear badges when entering the office and visitors must be identified. Having a safe document disposal and management service will also help keep sensitive information under lock and key to prevent peeping eyes from gaining access.
Due to social engineering becoming a growing risk, businesses should conduct insurance policy reviews and make sure they are protected well should they fall victim to social engineering schemes. After all, we are human and we will continue to make mistakes.