Cyber risks have become the main talking point for most organizations. With organizations around the globe coming under attack, the financial losses sustained due to cyber threats have been huge. For organizations, social engineering has become a huge concern as these attacks are consistently evolving to look more and more realistic.
Social engineering techniques are very popular among cyber criminals due to their ability to effectively exploit human errors that originate from curiosity, desire and urgency. CISOs are now concerned about charting a defense against social engineering attacks on their organizations.
Top 3 Social Engineering Attacks in 2021
Social engineering can take various forms and these three are the most potent ones that the organizations should watch out for:
Business Email Compromise (BEC) Attacks
In a BEC attack, a cyber criminal impersonates an employee, colleague, or executive to send an email to another employee. This email usually contains a request for a fund transfer. The cyber criminal may also ask for personally identifiable information (PII) from employees. In this case, it can further lead to fraud or identity theft.
BEC attacks usually start with phishing emails to lure the recipient into following the steps mentioned in the email. A BEC attack is generally carried out with the objective of carrying out transactions of money into the attacker’s account by the victim organization. BEC attacks can take many forms, which include the Vendor Email Compromise (VEC) attacks.
You can get an idea about the danger posed by BEC attacks from the fact that in one of their articles, the FBI mentioned BEC attacks as one of the most dangerous financial crimes.
According to an article published by Digital Guardian, individually, the average cost of a BEC attack in 2020 was around $80,000.
Furthermore, Gartner predicts that BEC attacks will continue to double every year, reaching more than $5 billion by 2023 to result in huge financial losses for the victim organizations.
Deepfake is a fresh challenge for cyber security experts. It has become a social media trend but poses huge risks to organizations. Through this technique, cyber criminals can not only destroy the credibility of a trusted source but also impersonate a high authority official in an organization and order tasks that can lead to financial and informational losses.
According to Science Daily, cyber security experts have started taking this seriously and now consider this as the most serious threat emanating from Artificial Intelligence.
The following video illustrates how deepfakes work:
Just like organizations use the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) tools to meet their diverse needs, threat actors are now using cheap and easily available phishing toolkits to cause havoc.
This Phishing-as-a-Service (PhaaS) model has made it very easy for amateur cyber criminals to cause huge damages. The Dark Net hosts many players who are giving tool packages for phishing at very cheap rates.
Securing the Organization Against Social Engineering Attacks
As mentioned above, social engineering can take various forms, and therefore it is necessary to build a multipronged defense against these attacks. Some steps organizations can take are:
- Increasing Cyber Security Awareness – Generating cyber security awareness among employees is the first step towards shielding the organization against cyber risks. This can include anything ranging from putting the employees’ resilience to test by running simulation campaigns to testing their cyber awareness level through interactive assessments.
One of the best ways to improve the level of cyber security awareness in the organization is by using security awareness tools. Along with this, CISOs in the organizations should also focus on enforcing the cyber security best practices in the workplace.
- Using Email Domain Security Tools – Email domain security tools can help organizations in preventing threat actors from misusing their email domains. This way, they can defend against various cyber threats including BEC attacks. KDMARC is one such email domain security tool that has revolutionized email domain security by providing a full package of easy-to-use features.
- Using Phishing Incident Response Tools – Phishing incident response tools can help in the quick detection of malicious emails and their elimination from the inboxes of the employees. It empowers employees to identify and report suspicious emails immediately.
What would your advice be for planning a defense against social engineering attacks in your organization?
Click the button below to secure your email domain against spoofing for FREE with KDMARC!