Addressing the Rise of Social Engineering Attacks against Remote Workers

Dear Readers,

This week’s blog is about taking a closer look at the rise of social engineering attacks and explaining why it is so important to be vigilant, seek out IT support services, and provide the proper training for your employees.

Cyber security threats of all kinds are on the rise. Still, as individuals and businesses become more aware of the various dangers, those with malicious intent are coming up with increasingly sophisticated methods. One of the most prominent examples of this in recent times has been the growth of social engineering.

The use of multi-factor authentication is vital, as it ensures that information is only accessed by the intended person, making it harder for cybercriminals to steal. If user data is less tempting, cyber thieves will go for a different one. Multi-factor authentication is a blend of two different factors. One is usually the username and password, which is something the user knows.

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Addressing the Rise of Social Engineering Attacks against Remote Workers

It is now evident that due to the pandemic social engineering attacks have increased. There are plenty of reports available from law-enforcement agency and other organization regarding the growth of COVID-19 related attacks, from spear-phishing to vishing, ransomware, and more, as the world adjust to remote working culture and its related risks.

Remote work culture and social distancing has created fruitful conditions for hackers, however, there is no different or new ways of social engineering that we have been witnessing during the pandemic. The same techniques were present in the past as well. So, the question here is, why are data breaches making headlines regularly?

If the past has taught us one thing it’s that, pernicious beings will always exploit human element. The factors that give rise to vulnerability among user is due to uncertainty, fear, isolation, distraction, and confusion. And as we shift to a new paradigm, there are no avenue that opportunistic hackers wont exploit. Just consider the rise of phishing attacks due to COVID-19 scenario.

Even as the pandemic subsides, there will be increased social distancing and virtual communication, meaning that organization must use strong authentication to safeguard itself against the ever-growing social engineering attacks. It is imperative to develop trust with users even if we lose hope in the security systems and information due to dispersed work environment. Here’s how:

  1. Training and Education is Not Enough

    Employee education in respect to COVID-related frauds is vital, but not a comprehensive solution. Even with proper knowledge about cyber attacks such as phishing and social engineering attacks, they take place, and some succeed. The need for user action to recognize phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks, vulnerabilities will always continue to be an issue.

  2. It is Time to Upgrade 2FA Strategy

    Organization cannot solely rely on passwords, secret question, or simple two-factor authentication to protect itself against social engineering attacks. With sophisticate hacking technologies, attackers are getting more savvy. This is reason why traditional methods have always proven vulnerable to mobile malware, SIM swapping, and phishing attacks.

  3. User experience is critical for organization’s safety.

    Many of us are juggling with home and work life, and way from co-workers and IT staff, strong authentication must be implemented on several device, across critical work applications, and diverse environments. Streamlined user experience is a must, as it helps deploy better authentication protocols across devices and systems, and secures the organization. This is unlike complex solutions that only protects certain users.

In conclusion, we can say that COVID-related attacks are pretty much real and poses a threat. However, we cannot say whether such attacks are directly related to the pandemic or is temporary. What it is though, a latest type of ongoing increase in social engineering attacks that requires a stronger response. We are helping businesses of all scale to adapt to the new shift. Are you ready to do the same?

Reference:

https://www.yubico.com/blog/responding-to-the-rising-wave-of-social-engineering-attacks-against-remote-workers/

Respond to Social Engineering Attacks with AmbiSecure

FIDO2 is a standard that simplifies and secures user authentication. It uses public-key cryptography to protect from phishing attacks and is the only phishing-proof factor available. Corporations around the world and across many sectors, including healthcare, can benefit from Fast Identity Online or Fast ID Online (FIDO) authentication, which their employees and users can use to minimize security risks, and improve overall user experience. The AmbiSecure key, and card is FIDO certified which offers superior security by combining hardware-based authentication and public key cryptography to effectively defend against phishing attacks and eliminate account takeovers.

AmbiSecure helps organizations accelerate to a password-less future by providing FIDO2 protocol support. Not only does FIDO2 supports two-factor authentication, but also paves the way for eliminating weak password authentication, with strong single-factor (passwordless) hardware-based authentication. The AmbiSecure provides a simple and intuitive authentication experience that users find easy to use, ensuring rapid adoption and organizational security. AmbiSecure key or card does not require a battery or network connectivity, making authentication always accessible.

Use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
How does Passwordless Authentication Works