The aftermath of a security breach can be devastating and overwhelming for any business. It can take months or even years to recover from the consequences. While having an incident management plan is critical for cybersecurity, the collaborative effort should be about preventing a breach in the first place. In case of social engineering, hackers are trying to attack vulnerability and weaknesses of humans. Social engineering is about manipulating or tricking a user into giving sensitive information or access to resources, systems, workstations, or networks. Here’s how small businesses can do better with social engineering concerns. 

  1. Let your employees know about social engineering. You cannot expect an untrained workforce to manage cybersecurity risks for your business. It is imperative to spend on cybersecurity training periodically, especially in these pandemic times when a considerable part of the workforce is working from home. 
  2. Recommend password policies. From creating strong passwords and passphrases with at least 14 characters, to using a password manager, very step in password protection matters. Employees are expected to follow the basic dos and don’ts related to password creation and management. 
  3. Focus on emails. Emails remain the major source of social engineering attacks. It is extremely important for small businesses to recommend spam filters to all employees. No one should click any link or download files from an untrusted source or email. 
  4. Do phishing simulations. What does a phishing attack look like? For that, phishing simulations and drills are extremely important. Employees can get a firsthand experience of such attacks and test their cybersecurity skills.
  5. Update all software, firmware, and operating systems. Patches and updates, as and when made available, should be installed immediately. Beyond operating systems and software, plugins and browsers should be updated on a regular basis. 
  6. Install firewalls and antimalware solutions. Antimalware solutions are useful for detecting malicious links, downloads, and files. All workstations should have antimalware, anti-spyware, and antivirus suites installed, while all networked devices should be placed behind firewalls. 
  7. Focus on data security. Ensure that there is a second or third layer of authentication for accessing all resources. Data security using Multifactor Authentication can go a long way in preventing phishing and whaling attacks. 

The crux of cybersecurity should be about educating employees and making the most of available technologies and products to counter social engineering attacks. If that means hiring security experts for training people, that spending is always worth it.