How ethical hacking can win the fight against social engineering

August 03, 2012

Look to the top of your internet browser – do you have Facebook bookmarked? What about Twitter? LinkedIn? Pinterest?

Social media has become an essential part of many of our lives and is a wonderful tool for keeping in touch with friends and family as well as learning new things and creating connections.

But as the amount of information we share increases, the need for vigilance when it comes to vulnerability management and reducing the risk of cybercrime becomes greater as well.

Social engineering is described by the Australian government's Stay Smart Initiative fact sheet as "tricking or scamming people for fraudulent purposes".

Social media has compounded the risk of social engineering significantly by creating a more open and free sharing environment where users willingly disclose personal information which could potentially be exploited by cybercriminals.

Some of the potential ways cybercriminals can utilise social engineering include harming the security of a computer by convincing people to open dangerous links or files, and gaining unauthorised access to accounts by identifying confidential user details.

And these risks don't just apply to home users; in fact they are even greater to businesses and organisations which have significantly more to lose.

Social engineering is often not considered as big a threat as other more common cybercrime techniques, but companies that think this way are often making a critical mistake.

Any business which employs staff who use social media is at risk of social engineering, and thus the objective of any forward thinking company must become minimising this threat in order to ensure that confidential company and customer information remains secure.

One way to accomplish this goal is through a Red Cell ethical hacking assessment.

Because Red Cell teams are knowledgeable as to the same innovative and outside the box techniques which are employed by cybercriminals, they are able to accurately identify any and all possible access points which might be exploited by a malicious hacker – including social engineering.

A Red Cell ethical hacking assessment can provide you with a thorough evaluation of the risks that are being created by the online activity of staff and ensure that you are armed with the knowledge required to make your organisation more secure in the future.

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