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Understanding Social Engineering Attacks and the Role of IT Consulting in San Francisco

a hooded person in front of a computer screen

Social engineering is an important element to consider with regards to your company’s IT network. In general, social engineering can be defined as the process through which people are psychologically manipulated into supplying confidential information or performing other similar actions which could cause harm to the business.

Typically, attacks of this nature are confidence tricks which will allow malicious people to illegally access your commercial network, gather information from your system, and even commit other fraudulent actions. Consider this brief discussion on the common types of social engineering attacks and the significance of IT consulting services in San Francisco:

Common Social Engineering Attacks

Phishing

The most common social engineering attack in commercial set-ups by unscrupulous people is probably phishing. In this technique, a person will disguise themselves in electronic communication as a trustworthy organization, business, or other entity. When the recipient opens the ‘urgent’ email or IM, they will be redirected to fake websites which often look like the legitimate ones.

If a person follows the link and logs in, their personal information, passwords, and financial data will be stolen. Phishing can cause the loss of valuable and confidential information from your company by hackers. This could expose you and your business to financial losses and even legal repercussions if the stolen data is used to cause damage to other parties.

Pretexting

As implied, pretexting involves creating a fabricated situation which can be used to manipulate a person into sharing information or performing actions which will allow unauthorized access. For example, the malicious person might pose as a bank, tax authority, insurance company, or even an employee from another branch. They will then use this position to obtain information from pertinent employees.

Baiting

The baiting technique takes advantage of the natural human desire to have certain things, especially if they are free. In simple terms, a hacker will place attractive files online such as new movies or hot music online, particularly on peer to peer sites. When an employee downloads the file, the data will contain malware. Without ample security from an IT consulting firm in San Francisco, the danger might not be discovered in time.

Water Holing

Water holing is similar to baiting, but this is more targeted. An attacker will study an employee’s browsing habits and general interests. They will then host some malware on a specific website and if the link is clicked, the network will be infected.

The Role of IT Services

IT consulting firms provide numerous services which can help protect you, your company, and your employees from social engineering attacks. The experts can provide security software such as antivirus, firewalls and other anti-malware. Phishing attacks which utilize harmful communication can be prevented because the software will flag and filter out suspicious emails.

If an employee attempts to visit harmful websites or download suspicious material, they will be prevented from doing so. The firm will also monitor the practices of the users and ensure that there are no destructive habits. In addition, you can request for training for your employees on preventing attacks because social engineering deals with people’s behaviors.

If you would like to get customized guidance on how to prevent security threats such as social engineering attacks, contact our IT consulting experts in San Francisco at OneClick Solutions today.

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