How to prevent social engineering

How to Prevent Social Engineering

Here are tips on how to prevent social engineering from attacking your workplace:

1. Use a unified identity access management solution.

2. Use network segmentation to limit access to sensitive data.

3. Employ application-level security controls.


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4. Employ web application firewall and intrusion prevention systems to detect and block malicious content.

5. Employ data loss prevention tools so that sensitive data is not exposed during email or document transmission.

6. Educate employees on social engineering attacks, including phishing and vishing, and how to recognize and report them.

7. Educate employees on how to identify suspicious emails, phone calls, or other requests for information; suspicious websites; and other fraudulent techniques that attackers use to trick people into disclosing information.

Let us discuss each of these in detail below:

How to Prevent Social Engineering

1. Use a unified identity access management solution.

This allows an individual to use the same credentials across all business applications, which improves end-user productivity and reduces help desk calls related to password resets and forgotten passwords.

2. Use network segmentation to limit access to sensitive data.

Using a firewall or virtual private network (VPN) based on a secure-channel protocol such as Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or IP Security (IPSec) is another way to limit access to sensitive data, as is the use of a demilitarized zone (DMZ). 

A DMZ is an Internet-connected computer or network that sits between an organization’s internal network and the public Internet, with all traffic going through it monitored by intrusion detection systems and/or firewalls. DMZs are used for many reasons, including the protection of sensitive data within an organization.

3. Employ application-level security controls. 

Application-level security controls restrict access by enforcing authentication and authorization of applications.

4. Employ web application firewall and intrusion prevention systems (WAF/IPS) to detect and block malicious content. 

A WAF/IPS can be installed at a network chokepoint as a front line of defense against web-based attacks, such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection, cross-site request forgery, etc., which are designed to steal users’ credentials or install malware on their computers.

This technology allows a user to either deny requests made from users who do not have valid login credentials or substitute safe pages for dangerous pages that contain malware or malicious code. The WAF/IPS software can also scan content as it is being transmitted, looking for malicious code hidden in images, videos, or other applications that could create security holes if delivered to users’ computers without being detected.

5. Employ data loss prevention tools.

This is so that sensitive data is not exposed during email or document transmission. 

Sensitive data includes:

  • credit card numbers
  • account numbers
  • social security numbers
  • employee information and passwords
  • proprietary information such as research ideas, formulas, and statistics; trade secrets; medical records; business plans; business communications and competitive information; legal documents.

Conclusion

In summary, data loss prevention can preclude a variety of security problems, since it monitors, tracks, and protects sensitive data at the source.

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