Security threats explained: Social engineering


Check Point Software Technologies Australia and New Zealand managing director, Scott McKinnel, says social engineering is such a large threat because it utilises the invariability and flaws in human nature.

"Social engineering is so dangerous because it takes advantage of the one fallible part of any access point-- human users," he says.

He adds that people are naturally curious and will click on a uniform resource locater [URL] and download attachments without always thinking about security.

"What makes social engineering so cunning is that it takes advantage of human behaviour and is often disguised as something a person is expecting to receive in their daily working life such as a link or attachment directly to a work email address."

In a business environment, employees' machines are supposed to be protected by an antivirus solution so that even if social engineering works the network will remain safe, according to Bitdefender chief security research officer, Catalin Cosoi.