Preventing against Human hacking

Humans are the weakest links in any security strategy. Understanding the security exposure in any organisation is very important to prevent possible social engineering attacks. Human beings are very unpredictable, depending upon the circumstances they are in. The security professional needs to design the security assessment accordingly.

Social engineering is the usage of manipulation techniques by the threat actors exploiting human error and gaining access to private information, spreading malware, ransomware etc. These attacks can be done online, in-person and in other ways.

Social engineering assessment or employee vulnerability assessment comes into the picture to prevent social engineering attacks. Social engineering is dangerous because it is not the vulnerabilities in applications or systems. Mistakes or access given through legitimate users are less predictable. Social engineering simulation is a simulated test aiming to measure the information security awareness levels of the organisation's employees by exploiting the natural behaviour (trust, friendliness, assumptions, biases etc) of the employees.

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How is social engineering assessment or Employee Vulnerability Assessment done?


The team assessing the system attempts direct contact with the targeted employees, either through phone calls or in-person or through restricted access. 


The assessment employs psychological manipulation for deceiving people into performing adverse actions like clicking on fabricated links, opening infected attachments, sharing personal details or divulging confidential information. The social engineering team develops familiar-looking fabricated content to lure the users and then make them take unwarranted actions. 


We assist in assessing the ability of the organisation's system and employees to detect social engineering attacks. The assessment is conducted in close coordination with the concerned person in a controlled manner. The assessment may involve following steps:


1. Gathering Information - The assessment team researches the target organization to understand its structure, employees, and security policies.


2. Crafting Attack Scenarios - Our team creates scenarios that mimic real social engineering attacks, such as phishing emails, phone calls, or physical attempts.


3. Executing Simulated Attacks - The team performs the social engineering attacks on employees, monitoring their responses and actions.


4. Analyzing Results - The results of the assessment are analyzed to identify weaknesses and areas of improvement.


5. Providing Recommendations - The assessment report includes recommendations for strengthening the organization's defenses and enhancing employee awareness.


A detailed report on the analysis along with suggestions to improve the security of an organisation is provided after the assessment.  



How to prevent social engineering attacks?


One can not guarantee the prevention of social engineering, but some precautions can help in strengthening the organisation's security system against social engineering attacks. 


1. Don't open attachments or emails from unknown or suspicious sources. 


2. Usage of multifactor authentication can help in avoiding unauthorised access. 


3. Be careful with tempting offers. Hackers spoof the sender to make the message look real and offer tempting deals. 


4. Antivirus or antimalware software should always be up to date. 

Why Social Engineering Assessments?

Identifying vulnerabilities

Identify weak points in the security defenses and address them proactively to reduce the risk of successful attacks

Security Culture Development

Promote a security-conscious culture within the organization, encouraging employees to prioritize security best practices

Managed Risk

Evaluate the organization's incident response capabilities to detect and respond to social engineering attacks

Employee Awareness

Raise awareness among employees about social engineering risks and tactics, making them more vigilant and cautious

Compliance & Risk Management

Addressing social engineering vulnerabilities, improves compliance with data protection regulations & reduce potential security risks.

What Illume Offers
  • 1. Identifying the behavioral risks that may lead to a security breach.
    2. Understanding the effectiveness of the organisation's security system in detecting and responding against such attacks.
    3. Understanding employee cyber security awareness.
    4. Recommending the solutions to improve the sensitivity towards cyber security.
    5. Conducting cyber security training for the employees in case of low awareness.

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Discover Our Latest Resources - Blogs
Social engineering testing is a simulated attack from the threat actors perspective. The aim is to simulate a cyber security attack and attempt to uncover security vulnerabilities that might otherwise be discovered by hackers. This generates valuable insight into the security posture of the assets to fix them before hackers can cause serious damage by exploiting them.
Common types of social engineering assessments includes
1. Phishing Assessments - This is to test the response of the employees on fraudulent emails or messages, aiming to identify potential vulnerabilities.
2. Pretexting Assessments - Creating a scenario to trick employees into disclosing sensitive information or granting unauthorised access.
3. Physical Social Engineering - Attempting to gain unauthorised physical access to restricted areas or sensitive information by exploiting human trust.
4. Phone-based Social Engineering - Using social engineering tactics over phone calls to deceive employees into revealing sensitive information or performing certain actions.
Estimating the cost of the Social Engineering Testing is not easy without scoping the project. The overall complexity of the project will determine the cost of the assessment. We would suggest you connect with our experts to gain more insights and estimation for your requirements.
Every industry and organisation has unique needs and hence we provide the customized social engineering assessments to cater these specific needs. We can easily customize the assessment scenarios to replicate industry-specific threats and vulnerabilities, ensuring a more relevant and effective assessment.
Every organisation needs social engineering assessment to test their training effectiveness and identify where additional training or communication may be required. Organisations may sometimes under estimate the risk possessed by the negligence of the employees.
The frequency of social engineering assessment depends on multiple factors like organisation's size, industry, security policies, and the level of exposure to social engineering threats. Experts suggest the organisations conduct Social Engineering Assessments at least annually. However certain industry regulations may benefit from more frequent assessments, such as semi-annual or quarterly.
By following the properly designed security policy covering the unique requirements of the organisation and training the employees for practicing the best security practices will create a secure ambience in the organisation. The security policy must include the measures for authentication, monitoring and prevention at all the required stages.