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IT Security & Cybersecurity

The Most Common Forms of Social Engineering

Discover the 4 Most Popular Social Engineering Techniques

Cybersecurity incidents are on the rise. To protect your organization from a potential breach, it is important to understand the tactics that cybercriminals utilize to gain access to an organization’s network.

One of the most popular forms of cybercrime is known as social engineering. Social engineering is the act of deceiving an end user to gain control over their computer system. Social engineering accounts for a substantial portion of all cyberattacks.

In this article, we explore four of the most popular forms of social engineering to better understand how these attacks can be detected and avoided.

The Most Common Forms of Social Engineering

Phishing

The most common type of social engineering is known as phishing. Phishing refers to fraudulent emails designed to trick end users into revealing sensitive information or clicking on a malicious link that will deploy malware.

According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group’s latest Phishing Activity Trends Report for Q3 2021, rates of phishing attacks doubled since early 2020. This trend is expected to keep climbing. To better understand what tactics cybercriminals use for phishing attacks, read our post How to Identify a Phishing Scam.

Spear Phishing

It is common to wonder how do spear phishing attacks differ from standard phishing attacks. While phishing attacks can be random, spear phishing refers to a highly personalized form of email fraud that has a greater likelihood of success. Spear phishing emails are carefully designed to target a specific recipient.

By mining personal information from social accounts and other public records, cybercriminals can craft a convincing email tailored to one person. Spear phishing is particularly dangerous because the use of personal details usually convinces the end user that the email is authentic which can lead to devastating consequences.

Smishing

While phishing is a term used to describe fraudulent email practices, smishing refers to cyberthreats delivered through SMS (text messaging). With smishing, cybercriminals utilize text messages to lure potential victims into disclosing personal information.

Now that smartphones are widely used, cybercriminals utilize SMS text messaging to steal sensitive information without having to break through the IT Security components of a computer or network. Similar to spear phishing, smishing can be a successful tactic because of how personalized a text message can feel.

Vishing

Vishing is the phone version of email phishing. Vishing utilizes automated voice messages to steal confidential information. This cyberattack relies on spoofed caller ID, which makes the attack appear to be coming from a common phone number.

Similar to smishing or phishing, vishing seeks to convince victims that there is a sense of urgency in responding to the caller. Often utilizing aggressive language & tactics, cybercriminals ask leading questions to draw out sensitive information.

Conclusion

Above is a list of the most common forms of social engineering. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, so can your business. Engaging with a cybersecurity solutions provider is highly recommended for organizations looking to strengthen their cybersecurity posture.


NOYNIM IT Solutions

At NOYNIM IT Solutions, we provide affordable cybersecurity solutions and IT services to small and mid-sized businesses across the United States. NOYNIM was founded on the belief that all businesses deserve affordable enterprise-grade IT Solutions.

Our goal is to perpetuate the growth of your business, while helping you avoid the large overhead costs often associated with employing in-house IT staff. We can handle your IT needs so you can get back to business. Learn about our services here.

Date Published: January 21, 2022

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