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The human element of Cybersecurity: Nurturing a cyber-aware culture to defend against social engineering attacks

The responsibility of protecting organizations from cyber attacks falls on the shoulders of employees as they are often the weakest link in cybersecurity defense systems. Without proper knowledge of social engineering attacks, employees can easily fall victim to these schemes. To create a resilient cybersecurity policy, it is crucial to educate employees on signs to look out for and train them on security policies and appropriate responses. Three common types of social engineering attacks include phishing, where bad actors impersonate legitimate contacts to obtain sensitive information; pretexting, where trust is gained to manipulate victims into sharing sensitive data; and baiting, where victims are tricked into completing an action or providing information. Educating employees to recognize social engineering attacks is essential for a robust defense. Regular security awareness training, the use of multi-factor authentication, tracking company KPIs, implementing strong password requirements, and establishing clear company-wide cybersecurity policies are effective measures to educate and defend employees against social engineering schemes. Double-checking suspicious requests or offers and reporting them to the appropriate authorities can also help prevent falling victim to scams. By implementing these measures, organizations can create a multilayered cybersecurity defense system and protect sensitive data from unauthorized access.

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