Social engineering attacks on the rise

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Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their social engineering tactics, and companies need to rethink their cyber defense strategies to keep up.

Attacks including cyberattacks on industry giants MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, have underscored the pressing need for companies to fortify their security measures.

Social engineering attacks are designed to trick people into revealing confidential information or performing actions that compromise security. They can be carried out through a variety of means, such as phishing emails, phone calls, text messages, and social media.

74% of data breaches between November 2021 and October 2022 involved a human element via an error, privilege misuse, social engineering or use of stolen credentials, according to Verizon’s 2023 data breach investigations report.

The surge in social engineering attacks is due in part to the fact that employees are often the weakest link in a company’s security posture. Social engineering attacks can be particularly effective because they exploit human psychology. For example, attackers may use urgency or scarcity to create a sense of panic, or they may impersonate a trusted authority figure to gain trust.

Two recent examples of high-profile social engineering attacks include the MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment breaches. In both cases, hackers were able to gain access to the companies’ networks by targeting their outsourced IT vendors.

These attacks highlight the importance of having robust security measures in place for all third-party vendors.

To combat these threats, experts emphasize the necessity of personalized employee training and awareness programs. Ashley Rose, CEO of Living Security, advises organizations to leverage collected data to tailor internal security controls, like stricter email filters, for those most susceptible to deception.

The sources for this piece include an article in Axios.


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