Social Engineering: The Ultimate Threat to Your Company’s Security

Social Engineering

Organisations aim to defend against frequent and sophisticated cyberattacks to avoid losing millions of pounds and suffering reputational harm due to delayed security measures. As technology has become an integral part of our daily lives, the threat of cyber attacks looms large over businesses of all sizes. While many organisations focus on fortifying their networks and implementing robust cybersecurity measures, one of the most insidious and challenging-to-detect threats often goes overlooked: Social Engineering.

According to a Verizon 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report, 82% of data breaches involved a human element, highlighting the criticality of social engineering awareness. In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into social engineering, exploring its prevalence, the financial implications for organisations, and the most common tactics used by attackers.

Defining Social Engineering

Social Engineering is a type of cyberattack where hackers use psychological tactics to deceive victims into making security mistakes and sharing their personal information. By manipulating human emotions like fear, greed, curiosity, and anger, social engineering attackers trick victims into clicking on harmful links or participating in physical tailgating. The goal of social engineering attackers is generally one of two things:

  • To disrupt a company’s operations.
  • They want to steal data and money.

For instance, a hacker could pretend to be an IT help desk staff member and ask for personal information like a username and password. It’s astonishing how many people are willing to surrender their data, particularly if it seems to be coming from a reliable source. Essentially, social engineering entails deceiving people to persuade them to divulge their personal information or data to gain access to it.

Transputec offers a comprehensive training platform like Cybsafe on cybersecurity, including modules specifically tailored to combat social engineering threats. Through our innovative training solutions, we empower businesses to educate their employees on the intricacies of social engineering tactics and equip them with the skills to recognise and mitigate these risks effectively.

How does Social Engineering work?

Cybercriminals use social engineering attacks to deceive people by claiming to be from a trusted source or impersonating someone the victim knows. The attacker attempts to manipulate the victim into taking an action that gives them access to sensitive information like passwords, bank account details, or date of birth. 

The attacker may also convince the victim to visit a malicious website that installs malware on their computer, potentially causing disruptions. In more severe cases, the malware may extract sensitive information from the device or even take over the device entirely.

Social engineering poses a significant threat to organisations of all sizes, and it’s crucial to take proactive measures to protect your company’s sensitive information and assets. By partnering with Transputec, you can access a team of cybersecurity experts who can help you become aware and implement a robust security strategy tailored to your specific needs.

Common Social Engineering Techniques

It is crucial to understand the various attack vectors associated with this type of crime to prevent it effectively. This is how cybercriminals do it:

1. Pretexting: 

A common tactic used by scammers is to create a scenario that may seem real to the victim. They often use real information about the victim, such as their date of birth or social security number, to gain their trust. Once the victim is engaged, the scammer will then attempt to gather even more personal information. It’s important to be aware of these tactics to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft or fraud.

2. Diversion Theft:

A ‘con’ executed by professional thieves, commonly aimed at transport or courier companies, diverts the delivery to a different location.

3. Phishing:

Phishing is a deceptive technique used to obtain sensitive information like usernames, passwords, and credit card details by posing as a trustworthy entity through bulk email campaigns designed to bypass spam filters. These emails often claim to be from well-known social media websites, banks, online auction sites, or IT administrators with the aim of tricking unsuspecting individuals into providing their information. Phishing is a form of criminal social engineering and can have serious consequences for victims.

4. Spear Phishing:

A spear-phishing attack is a type of cyber attack that targets a specific person or organisation through email. The goal of this attack is to breach the target’s defences by tricking them into taking a particular action that goes against their interest. The attackers research the target and personalise the attack to make it seem legitimate. Here is more information on how spear phishing attacks are executed.

6. Water-Holing:

This attack method entails exploiting websites that people frequently visit and rely on. The attacker will gather data about a specific group of people to identify the websites they use, and then test those sites for any weaknesses. Eventually, one or more members of the targeted group will be infected, granting the attacker access to the secure system.

7. Baiting:

Baiting means dangling something in front of a victim so that they take action. It can be through a peer-to-peer or social networking site in the form of a (porn) movie download or it can be a USB drive labelled “Q1 Layoff Plan” left out in a public place for the victim to find. Once the device is used or a malicious file is downloaded, the victim’s computer is infected allowing the criminal to take over the network.

8. Impersonation:

Pretending to be someone else, such as a colleague or IT support, to deceive individuals into divulging sensitive information or granting access to systems.

Impact on Businesses:

The consequences of falling victim to a social engineering attack can be devastating for businesses. A study by IBM Security found that the average cost of a data breach due to social engineering tactics is $4.24 million. Beyond financial losses, which can run into millions, there’s reputational damage, legal liabilities, and regulatory fines to contend with. Moreover, the intangible costs of diminished customer trust and employee morale are equally significant.

Social engineering poses significant risks to businesses, impacting them in several ways:

1. Financial Losses:

Successful social engineering attacks can lead to financial losses through theft of funds, fraudulent transactions, or ransom demands.

2. Data Breaches:

Social engineering tactics often result in data breaches, compromising sensitive information such as customer data, intellectual property, and financial records.

3. Reputational Damage:

Incidents of social engineering can tarnish a company’s reputation, eroding customer trust and loyalty, which can have long-term consequences for business growth and sustainability.

4. Legal and Regulatory Consequences:

Businesses may face legal liabilities and regulatory fines for failing to protect sensitive information by data protection laws and industry regulations.

5. Operational Disruption:

Social engineering attacks can disrupt business operations, causing downtime, loss of productivity, and additional expenses associated with incident response and recovery efforts.

Preventive Measures:

Mitigating the risk of social engineering requires a multi-faceted approach that encompasses technology, processes, and education. Implementing robust email filtering systems to weed out phishing attempts, enforcing strict access controls, and conducting regular security awareness training for employees are essential steps.

Preventive Measures Against Social Engineering:

1. Employee Training:

Implement comprehensive security awareness training programs to educate employees about social engineering tactics, red flags, and best practices for identifying and responding to suspicious activities. Transputec emphasises the importance of regular security awareness workshops and training programs like Cybsafe to educate employees on social engineering tactics and how to identify and respond to potential threats.

2. Cybersecurity as a Service:

Cybersecurity as a Service offers real-time monitoring of network activity and user behaviour. This proactive approach enables the early detection of suspicious patterns or anomalies, helping to identify and block social engineering attacks before they cause harm. Transputec’s Cybersecurity offering provides real-time threat detection, proactive monitoring, and swift incident response to help combat social engineering attacks. The service also includes employee training and awareness programs.

3. Access Controls:

Enforce strict access controls and least privilege principles to limit employees’ access to sensitive information and systems, reducing the likelihood of unauthorised access. Partner with Transputec to implement and manage robust access control measures, ensuring that employees have appropriate levels of access to sensitive information and systems based on the principle of least privilege.

4. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):

Implement MFA mechanisms to add an extra layer of security to user accounts, making it more difficult for attackers to gain unauthorised access even if they obtain login credentials. Transputec believes in processes to strengthen account security and mitigate the risk of unauthorized access, safeguarding your organisation’s digital assets against social engineering attacks.

5. Incident Response Planning:

Develop and regularly update incident response plans to ensure timely and effective responses to social engineering incidents, minimising potential damage and disruption to business operations. Transputec develops and refines incident response plans tailored to your organisation’s unique needs, enabling swift and effective responses to social engineering incidents to minimise potential damage and disruption.

Your Business Security Can be Strengthened with Transputec

Connect with us today for a free consultation!

Transputec's Expert Solutions:

Transputec offers a comprehensive suite of expert solutions to combat the pervasive threat of social engineering. Our approach begins with thorough risk assessments, where we analyse your organisation’s vulnerabilities and assess the potential impact of social engineering attacks on your security posture. From there, we provide tailored security awareness training programs designed to educate employees about the various tactics used by cybercriminals and empower them to recognise and respond effectively to potential threats.

In addition to training, Transputec implements advanced email security solutions to safeguard against phishing attempts and malicious emails. Our email security measures include robust spam filtering and threat detection mechanisms, ensuring that suspicious messages are identified and blocked before they reach users’ inboxes. Furthermore, we deploy endpoint protection solutions to defend devices and endpoints against malware and ransomware infections, reducing the risk of compromise due to social engineering attacks.

In the event of a social engineering incident, Transputec offers comprehensive incident response services to help organisations respond swiftly and effectively. Our team of experts works to minimise the impact of the incident and restore normal operations as quickly as possible, mitigating financial losses and reputational damage.

To maintain proactive defence against evolving threats, Transputec provides continuous monitoring services, allowing us to detect and mitigate social engineering attacks in real-time. Additionally, we develop employee vigilance programs to foster a culture of security awareness and vigilance within your organisation, encouraging employees to remain vigilant against social engineering threats and report any suspicious activities promptly.

With Transputec’s expert solutions on social engineering, organisations can strengthen their defences, mitigate risks, and protect their assets against the ever-present threat of social engineering attacks.


In an era where cyber threats are omnipresent, defending against social engineering requires diligence, awareness, and expertise. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take proactive steps to protect your business today.

The human factor remains a significant vulnerability in IT security, and social engineering attacks continue to pose significant risks to businesses. However, with cybersecurity as a service and proactive measures, organisations can strengthen their defences against these threats. By implementing best practices such as multi-factor authentication and conducting security awareness workshops, businesses can empower their employees to become vigilant defenders against social engineering attacks. Remember, protecting your business is a continuous effort, and Transputec is here to support you on your journey to secure and safeguard your digital assets.

Ready to take your cybersecurity defences to the next level? Contact us today to speak with an expert and explore how Transputec can help safeguard your business against cyber threats.

Secure Your Business!

Get 24/7 security expertise from Transputec’s Cyber Security without the big price tag.

Contact us today.

generic cir


What are the common signs of a social engineering attack?

Social engineering attacks often involve urgent requests for sensitive information, unusual email addresses, or suspicious attachments. Employees should be wary of unsolicited communications and verify the authenticity of requests before responding.

How can employees be trained to recognise and respond to social engineering tactics?

Comprehensive security awareness training programs, including simulated phishing exercises and scenario-based training modules, can help employees develop a keen eye for social engineering red flags and respond appropriately.

What role does technology play in mitigating social engineering risks?

Technology serves as a crucial line of defence against social engineering attacks, with solutions such as email filtering, endpoint protection, and behavioural analytics helping to detect and thwart malicious activities in real time.

Is there a one-size-fits-all solution to prevent social engineering attacks?

No, combating social engineering requires a holistic approach that combines technology, processes, and education. A tailored strategy that addresses the specific needs and vulnerabilities of your organisation is essential for effective protection.

How can Transputec help businesses defend against social engineering threats?

Transputec offers a range of cybersecurity services designed to address the unique challenges posed by social engineering. From risk assessments to incident response planning, our expert team provides proactive defence measures to safeguard your business.


Get in Touch

Discover how we can help. We aim to be in touch.