People need to be conscious of the fact that anyone can fall for social engineering tactics, according to Shaneé Dawkins at NIST, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dawkins explains that lower-level employees shouldn’t be complacent because they assume they won’t be targeted. Attackers can use access to any account as a launching pad for further attacks within an organization.
“Attackers can reach you through different avenues, including email or text message,” Dawkins writes. “Anyone can be phished – Phish can be sent to your work email address or personal email address. You may think you do not have access to anything worth stealing, but all of us are targets, not just upper management. Anyone can be an entry point to infect and expose a larger organization. Anything can be spoofed – the sender’s email address, the content of the message, URLs, logos, everything!”
Dawkins stresses that people need to have the humility to understand that they are susceptible to social engineering attacks. While a person may see some scams as obvious, there are most likely additional phishing tactics that they’re unaware of.
“Being Cyber Smart means having the awareness that anyone can be phished, and being on guard to protect yourself and your organization against phishing threats,” Dawkins writes. “When you receive an email, pause a moment to process the message and its content. Being Cyber Smart is not falling for common tactics – such as limited time offers or offers too good to be true – used by attackers to elicit a rash judgment under pressure, compelling you to click a fraudulent link or download a malicious attachment. Being Cyber Smart when it comes to phishing attacks is to stop and think about an email’s sender and the message’s content before you click.”
New-school security awareness training can enable your employees to follow security best practices so they can avoid falling for social engineering attacks.
NIST has the full story.