A Cyber-Attack is an unauthorized effort to gain access and potentially cause damage to an entity’s personal data. Cyber-Attacks are becoming one of the biggest threats faced by corporations, especially during the post COVID era where a majority of activities are being conducted online. The estimated cost of losses incurred due to cyber-attacks is $6 trillion in 2021 globally. Experts predict that this cost will rise exponentially in the upcoming years (source).
As part of our ongoing series to raise awareness about Cyber-Security, this article will highlight the role of Social Engineering in Cyber-Attacks and how to prevent it.
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What is Social Engineering?
Social engineering refers to the practice of manipulating people in order to extract confidential information. The type of information extracted using this technique can vary. However, the main objective of cyber criminals is to trick their victims into sharing their passwords, bank information, access to their computers etc.
Role of Social Engineering in Cyber-Attacks
Social Engineering is being implemented in 98% of the Cyber-Attacks now days. Similarly, 43% of IT professionals stated that they had been targeted by social engineering schemes in 2020 (source). Due to lack of experience, new employees are vulnerable to Socially Engineered cyber-attacks. In fact, 60% of IT professionals have cited recent hires as being at high risk (source).
How to avoid Social Engineering schemes?
- Create awareness
Awareness and education are key in preventing cyber-attacks. Every individual should have the required knowledge to identify scam emails, messages, ads, etc. At-risk companies should regularly educate their employees regarding this issue through seminars and workshops. Here at CPA4IT, we have been dedicated to create awareness about this important topic.
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- Be aware of the information you are releasing
One of the main purposes of these attacks is to manipulate victims into sharing their personal data. It is crucial to ensure that you do not give out private information. This includes passwords, bank information, security questions, etc.
- Keep your software up to date
Outdated software can be more susceptible to cyber-attacks. Hackers try to take advantage of security holes in outdated software to gain access to their victims’ computers. Updating your software on a regular basis can prevent hackers from gaining access to your private information. As a cloud accounting firm we consider ourselves to be stewards of data and we take that responsibility seriously. We leverage the latest cyber security technology for ourselves and provide all of our accounting and bookkeeping clients with the tools to protect both their data and their identity.
- Screen the person you share information with
Whenever someone asks to share sensitive data, consider whether they are deserving of this information. Spam emails are one of the most common tools used by cybercriminals to extract personal information from their victims. In order to prevent falling victim to such attacks, make sure you screen the sender of such emails before responding. For more information, click here to check out our webinar that explains social engineering in detail.
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If you wish to learn more about the extremely important topic of cyber security, don’t forget to head over to our YouTube channel by clicking here. We regularly upload informative content to create awareness and help people fortify their cyber-security.
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