The biggest threat to cybersecurity: Social engineering

The biggest threat to cybersecurity: Social engineering

Cybersecurity has become an essential ingredient to protect internet-connected systems from hackers. It acts as a shield against the data breaches, risk management, identity theft, and other cyberattacks. Not only the cybersecurity protects your personal information, but it also improves the system’s performance. Recently, we guided how to check a malicious android app on the play store. In that article, we elaborated on how malicious applications can slow down your system’s performance. So, cybersecurity is crucial for secure and robust and scalable systems. Moreover, the integration of many information systems also raises the importance of cybersecurity. The common types of cybersecurity threats are malware, keyloggers, trojan horses, spyware, etc. The biggest threat to cybersecurity: Social engineering, because it can not be stopped. Only you can detect it. 

There are different techniques of social engineering attacks. These techniques point towards the fact that social engineering is a significant threat to cybersecurity. Before we jump to different social engineering techniques, here is the primary purpose of social engineering. 

The main purpose of social engineering 

The primary purpose of social engineering is that social engineers create a trap to target the user’s sensitive information. This information further used for specific purposes and which are in the best interests of social engineers. The confidential information also sold to the dark web and black market for different purposes. So, still confused about is social engineering a cybersecurity threat? Although it is a non-technical strategy, it is enough to damage the standard security practices to a great extent. So, the biggest threat to cybersecurity is social engineering, and here are different techniques described below to make you aware of social engineering attacks.

Different techniques of social engineering attacks 

Any computer device where there is human interaction involved can become a victim of social engineering attacks. 

Phishing 

Phishing is one of the social engineering attacks performed by attracting users with some target benefits or showing a matter of urgency. The user alerted by the subject or caption of the link, accidentally or intentionally click to that link. Clicking to that link and then fulfilling all the requirements of social engineer can reveal all the sensitive information of users. Phishing and scam emails used interchangeably sometimes. So, be aware of scams links or emails and be careful while internet surfing. 

There are many cases in history when social engineers created similar interfaces of sensitive organizations. They also targeted by scam links to their employees. The careful internet browsing of those employees prompted them to add all the critical data information to those interfaces. 

Scareware 

You might have noticed ads on your browser, referring to the weak security of your system. These ads pose for the best antivirus for your system, and many of us attracted to these antiviruses because they are free. So, scareware is the computer program maliciously designed to force or invite users to buy this and be the victim of social engineering attack for the sake of sensitive information or any other benefits. 

Vishing 

Vishing is similar to phishing but utilizing outdated ways. In vishing social engineering attacks, the attacker creates the interactive voice response system, generating the fake phone calls and forcing users with their lucrative tone to share their sensitive information like passwords, etc. The IVR created to specify a reputed company name and the users without thinking twice become a victim of this attack just because the social engineers pose exactly like that reputed company. 

There is a misconfusion in phishing, vishing, and spear phishing. We have described phishing and vishing above. The subset of phishing is the spear-phishing, but it generates higher chances of stealing sensitive information because of uniqueness in scam emails. With more significant efforts, originality, and already decided targets, spear-phishing become successful in getting all the desired information. The phishing, spear phishing, and vishing are a severe threat to cybersecurity, and many of the sensitive organizations have become the victim of these attacks so far. 

Baiting 

In baiting, social engineers attack the greed and curiosity of humans, showing them some benefits. But in actual, they intend to crash their systems or to steal their sensitive information. Baiting is a massive risk to cybersecurity as attackers spread malicious devices in the whole network designed according to greed and curiosity of employees. Attackers then sit at the backend and get their desired benefits. You might have seen spin wheels online promising to give a lot of prizes. Some of these are also a type of social engineering attack to get your login details. 

Pretexting 

In pretexting, the social engineer creates a scenario by linking the familiar users and organizations to steal the identities. They create a state of urgency in which the attacker demands the user to authenticate themselves to steal their critical information.    

Precautions 

As all of the above mentioned, social engineering attacks are a threat to cybersecurity, so here are some precautions you must follow. Use multifactor authentication and never attracted to any offers giving free antiviruses or gifts. Also, try to update your antiviruses periodically. The last and the most important one never click on the links which are not familiar. With the growing importance of cyber security, we must change our actions to get rid of every possible attack.

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