Social Engineering Attack: 4 Strong preventions

Social engineering attack


Social engineering attacks threaten both individuals and businesses. If you want to learn more about why cybersecurity is necessary, be sure to check out our previous article on the topic.

These attacks target human psychology to manipulate people into divulging sensitive information or performing actions that could compromise security. In this article, we’ll look at the rise of social engineering attacks, hackers’ tactics, and how to avoid them.

Social engineering attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and widespread. People are tricked into giving up personal information by cybercriminals using various methods. Cybercriminals can use email, phone, or even social media to launch these attacks, leading to identity theft, financial loss, or reputational damage.

As we proceed, we’ll learn about every social engineering strategy and how to prevent from them. We have to be on alert and take the proper security precautions to stop these threats.

Social engineering attack

Common Types of Social Engineering Attacks

Social engineering attacks are designed to trick individuals into divulging sensitive information or performing actions that can harm themselves or their organizations. Social engineering attacks exploit the human element of security to bypass technical controls and gain access to confidential information. In this section, we will discuss some of the most common types of social engineering attacks.

1. Phishing: This is the most common type of social engineering attack. Phishing attacks involve an email or message that seems to be from a trustworthy source, like a bank, social media site, etc. The attacker sends a message that contains a link or attachment, which, when clicked or opened, can install malware on the target’s device or direct them to a fake login page to steal their login credentials.

2. Pretexting: In pretexting attacks, attackers create a fake scenario to gain the trust of the victim. For example, an attacker may impersonate a customer service representative from a bank to convince the victim to share their login credentials or other sensitive information.

3. Baiting: Baiting attacks usually involve offering something enticing to the target, such as a free movie or software download. The bait is usually accompanied by a malicious link or attachment that, when clicked or opened, installs malware on the target’s device.

4. Tailgating: Tailgating attacks involve following someone into a secure area without proper authorization.

5. Waterhole: Watering hole attacks involve compromising a website that is frequently visited by a target group of individuals. The attackers then use the compromised website to distribute malware or steal sensitive information.

6. Vishing: Vishing attacks involve using voice communication, such as a phone call, to trick individuals into divulging sensitive information.

In the next section, we will discuss about some of the strategies that can be used to prevent these attacks. It’s important to note that the most effective prevention strategy is user awareness training to help individuals recognize and avoid social engineering attacks.

Strategies to Prevent Social Engineering Attacks

Social engineering attacks are becoming more prevalent in today’s digital age and may be quite damaging to both people and corporations. However, these attacks can be avoided by putting in place a few specific measures. Here are some practical measures to fend off social engineering scams:

1. Educate yourself and your staff: Educate yourself and your staff about the cyberattacks and how they work. This is the first and most crucial step in preventing social engineering attacks. This can involve baiting, pretexting, phishing emails, etc. Ensure that every employee in your company is aware of these attacks and how to respond to these.

2. Use Multi-factor Authentication: By using multi-factor authentication, users must provide more than one form of authentication to access a system. It makes harder for attackers to gain access to your systems.

3. Keep your software and systems up to date: Outdated software and systems can be vulnerable to social engineering attacks. Make sure that all of your software must be updated with the latest security patches and updates.

4. Limit the amount of information you share: Be careful about what information you share online and with whom. Attackers often use social engineering to gather personal information about their targets, so limit what information you share online and in person.

5. Verify the Sender’s identity: The easiest way to defend yourself from phishing or vishing attacks is to confirm the sender’s identity. Verify the email address or phone number again and contact the business directly.

6. Avoid clicking on suspicious links: Another important prevention strategy is to avoid clicking on suspicious links. These links can lead to fraudulent websites or download malware onto your device. It’s important to hover over the link to see the URL, and to only click on links from trusted sources.

7. Report the suspicious activity: It’s necessary to notify the proper authorities if you see any unusual activities or receive any strange messages. This can include your IT department, the organization that the message appears to be from, or cyber department. By reporting suspicious activity, you can help prevent others from falling victim to social engineering attacks.

You can greatly reduce the risk of social engineering attacks by implementing these strategies. Stay vigilant and be safe!

Case Studies

Cybercriminals have become more skilled and prevalent over time, and they now frequently use social engineering attacks to deceive people and businesses into disclosing valuable information or taking activities that could compromise security. To better understand social engineering attacks and how to defend yourself, we’ll go over several prominent case studies in this section.

1. Gmail phishing attack: A phishing effort that targeted Gmail users in 2017 involved sending users an email that appeared to be a request for a Google Doc. When the email’s malicious link was clicked, it gave hackers access to the user’s entire email history, contacts, and other private data.

2. Robin Sage Experiment: In 2010, a social media experiment was conducted by a security researcher named Thomas Ryan. He created a fake persona named “Robin Sage” on various social media platforms and added security professionals as her friends. Within a month, she had over 300 connections, and many of them revealed confidential information about their companies and clients.

To prevent such attacks, it is important to educate employees about social engineering techniques, use multi-factor authentication, keep software up to date, and implement policies to limit individual access to critical data.


There are increasing numbers of sophisticated social engineering attacks, posing a significant threat to individuals and organizations. The attackers are exploiting the human tendency to trust, which makes it even more critical to remain vigilant and cautious while interacting with others online or offline.

To prevent social engineering attacks, organizations and individuals need to implement various strategies, including educating employees and conducting regular security awareness training. Additionally, it is crucial to have strict access control policies in place, perform regular vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, and implement multi-factor authentication.

The best defense against social engineering attacks is to remain aware and informed about the latest threats, and always exercise caution while interacting with unknown individuals or responding to unsolicited emails or messages. The best way to avoid social engineering attacks is to take a proactive approach and stay informed about cybersecurity.

2 thoughts on “Social Engineering Attack: 4 Strong preventions”

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