Vulnerabilities / Threats

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Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
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7 Ways Hackers Target Your Employees

One employee under reconnaissance by cyberattackers can put your whole business at risk. Where are they being targeted, and what should they know?
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(Image: Bluebay via Shutterstock)

(Image: Bluebay via Shutterstock)

Cybercriminals are testing the strength of your organization's defensive wall, looking for the one crack they need to launch their attacks. Oftentimes that flaw isn't a "what," but a "who."

Employees only need to download a bad attachment, click a malicious link, or give attackers one piece of information they need to break in. Security is a business-wide responsibility.

"Companies need to realize if their employees are picking up the phone and answering emails, they are making security decisions every day that can affect the company," says Michele Fincher, COO for Social-Engineer, Inc. "They don't realize how many good decisions employees need to make to be secure."

Addressing the importance of security during annual training sessions isn't enough, says Fincher. "If you only talk about it once a year, you're doing the staff a grave disservice."

Social engineering attacks also make it harder to differentiate legitimate from malicious activity. In the past, cybercriminals needed more technical skills to launch attacks. These days, they can wreak havoc with social network browsing, phone calls, and emails. They can conduct surveillance without raising red flags.

As Social-Engineer, Inc. CEO Chris Hadnagy explains, "There's no bar for entry for an attacker."

Here are seven common strategies attackers use to target employees. Share these with your teams to inform them of today's dangers and where hackers may be hiding.


Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Apprentice
4/10/2017 | 3:30:30 AM
Problem with linkedin is, we really need it... this is a total open door for hakers...
User Rank: Ninja
4/7/2017 | 8:37:59 AM
"LinkedIn is one of the biggest sources of wealth for the bad guys,"
At SecureWorld Philadelphia, it was demonstrated that LinkedIn will typically catalog the individuals organization and software packages they are familiar with. This type of recon allows for the attacker to hone down the amount of exploits he or she will need to review when crafting a phishing attack.
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