Five Ways to Prevent Social Engineering Attacks

November 15, 2019
Mark Guntrip

Yesterday, we published a blog post defining the three types of social engineering attacks you should know.

Social engineering—attacks that occur when a scammer tricks people into giving them access to sensitive information—can be tricky for security teams to defend against. Organizations can have many products and systems in place for protection and still let social engineering attacks through. 

How can you prevent social engineering attacks?

There is no silver-bullet solution to outsmarting social engineers. But an integrated approach can make your organization an unattractive target. Here are five top tips on ways to prevent social engineering attacks along with Proofpoint resources to help kick-start your protection strategy.

1. Slow down

Attackers know how to create a sense of urgency to influence you to move fast. It’s essential to slow down and review emails carefully for any errors or suspicious language, especially if the sender is requesting you act quickly and provide them something.

2. Be wary of URLs and attachments

It’s okay to be suspicious of links and attachments from unfamiliar sources. No matter how legitimate the email looks, if you are on the fence at all about clicking a link, it’s always safer to type the URL into the browser instead. 

3. Authenticate sender identities

Spoofing identities (of executives, vendors, HR employees, and more) is how many attackers launch successful social engineering attacks. Authenticating your email is the best way to confirm the identity of the sender. Learn more about how to do it with Proofpoint’s Email Fraud Defense.

4. Implement a comprehensive email security strategy

Today, your systems must be able to identify malicious emails and know to block them before they reach your employees. In addition to email authentication, Proofpoint’s Email Protection suite can help you stop advanced attacks, mitigate their impact, and keep your business running.

5. Educate

Education is the most powerful tool for protecting your organization. Your employees need to know how not only to recognize standard social engineering techniques but how to avoid them. To help your organization stay protected, check out our interactive training module.

Want to learn more about how Proofpoint can help you prevent social engineering attacks at your organization? Contact us here.