Social Engineering Attacks: What are they and how do you protect your organization

As cybersecurity budgets grow, many companies neglect the largest vulnerability… their users. In 2022, 9 out of 10 cyberattacks targeted end-user and employees versus firewalls and technology.  To prevent these attacks, companies must offer end-user training around social engineering cyberattacks.

What is Social Engineering?

Social engineering is a cyberattack that involves manipulating someone to disclose confidential information about a company or organization. The hacker, or social engineer, uses deceitful tactics through email, social media, text or other forms of digital communication to urge a victim to act. The information may include bank account details or passwords that pose a significant threat to the organization’s cybersecurity.



One of the most common ways to exploit employees for information is through phishing. The cybercriminal will disguise themselves as a trusted source with the company and send a message asking the victim for login credentials or to install malware using a URL. Any information entered into these malicious websites can be used for financial fraud or contribute to a great cyber-attack. It is not always easy to spot a phony website. Hackers can recreate trusted websites employees use every workday. In February of 2023, Reddit fell victim to a sophisticated email phishing attack where hackers gained access to their internal documents and business systems. After an employee reported a possible breach, the company reinstated their security and conducted an investigation.

Multi-Fact Authentication (MFA) Fatigue Attacks

MFA attacks take advantage of second-factor authentication requests to confirm an employee’s identity through their company devices. A victim may be asked for a simple approval through voice or push notifications. Once permitted, the hacker gains access to sensitive account information to further their cyber disruption.

Physical Social Engineering

In physical social engineering, the manipulation takes place in-person. An attacker may enter a business posing as IT personnel assigned to update computers or other office technology. They could also claim to be a former employee looking to retrieve information from their old computer. However, devices can be planted inside the building to compromise networks or keyloggers can be quickly installed to track employee’s keyboard patterns. Scary enough, these initiatives can be ongoing for weeks before any employee discovers their cybersecurity has been compromised.

Potential Damage:

Whether your security has been surpassed in-person or digitally, there may be punishing consequences for your company’s employees, clients, and reputation. As mentioned, bank account information can be used for financial fraud where funds can be stolen entirely. Digital files containing sensitive employee and company information can be used for further fraudulent purposes. Customers may be unable to reach your website and withdraw their business. Hackers also may threaten to expose the breach publicly and demand large sums of money. The damage of Social Engineering Attack can be reduced by using a reliable IT provider.

Choose MSI as your partner in preventing cybersecurity attacks:

MSI Offered Solutions:

  • Increase User Education
    • Social Engineering Hackers start with your people. We will train your employees and end-users to spot fraud emails, texts, or websites and, more importantly, report any suspicious activity.
  • Email Security
    • Over 80% of cyberattacks are initiated through email. That is why we’ve adopted AI and behavior-based email to scan every attachment and link.
  • Network Protection
    • Install personalized IT security that monitors everything in and out of your network.
  • Endpoint Control
    • Establishes a process of analyzing alarming behavior within company applications.
  • Service Desk
    • Offers immediate assistance around the clock for your IT network.
  • Business/Technical Alignment
    • Determines a 3–5-year strategic road map following a full needs analysis of your business to consistently improve the best practices within your environment.
  • Business Continuity Planning
    • We can help you prepare for an accident by determining a detailed plan for recovery before it happens.

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