Social engineering, an age old threat, continues to play a significant role in successful attacks against people, enterprises, and agencies. The advent of the Internet, its diverse and increased use, and the reliance on it by almost every element of society, amplifies social engineering opportunities. Cybercriminals enjoy an expansive attack surface, novel attack vectors, and an increasing number of vulnerable points of entry. Threat actors, both cyber and physical, continue to leverage social engineering due in part to its high rate of success. Security experts believe complex social engineering threats will continue across all vectors and attack levels will continue to intensify.
Social engineering is one of the most prolific and effective means of gaining access to secure systems and obtaining sensitive information, yet requires minimal technical knowledge. Attacks vary from bulk phishing emails with little sophistication through to highly targeted, multi-layered attacks which use a range of social engineering techniques. Social engineering works by manipulating normal human behavioural traits and as such there are only limited technical solutions to guard against it.