Continuity Central: Social Engineering Risks Explored

Check Point has published the results of a new survey revealing that 42 percent of UK enterprises, and 48 percent internationally, have been victims of social engineering attacks, experiencing 25 or more such attacks in the past two years at a average cost of over £15,000 per incident.

The survey report, ‘The Risk of Social Engineering on Information Security’, shows the most common sources of social-engineering threats are phishing emails (47 percent) and social networking sites (39 percent). The survey found that new employees (52 percent) and contractors (44 percent) were cited as the most susceptible to social engineering techniques, emphasising that hackers target staff that they suspect are the weakest security links in organisations, using social networking applications to gather personal and professional information on employees to mount spear phishing attacks.

According to the global survey of over 850 IT and security professionals, 86 percent of businesses recognise social engineering as a growing security concern. A majority of respondents (51 percent) cited financial gain as the primary motivation of attacks, followed by competitive advantage and revenge. The highest rate of attacks was reported by energy and utility organizations (61 percent) with non-profit organisations reported the lowest rate (24 percent), reinforcing gain as the key reason for attacks.

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Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.