ZinnoX Cybersecurity

Social Engineering - Meaning, Types & Preventive Measures

Social engineering is one of the most common types of cyberattacks that mixes the human factor, the art of manipulation and technology to commit malicious activities on the internet. In simple words, it refers to those types of cyberattacks in which a hacker manipulates a user into gaining total access to their account, network or device. 

Social engineering is all about tricking users into opening malicious emails, links or downloading files which can unleash deadly malware onto their systems. Most of the time, it’s done in such a way that the users are unaware of what has happened. Hackers use these techniques to gain access and monitor their usage to benefit long-term. They usually do this to earn hefty ransoms in exchange for their organisation’s security.

Common Types Of Social Engineering Attacks 

To avoid falling prey to these, one must understand its various types and takes preventive measures to protect themselves. There are 10+ types of social engineering attacks; however, we will discuss the three most common types of social engineering.

  • Phishing is the most common type of social engineering attack where hackers send faulty emails or text messages that indicate urgency or curiosity among users. When users fall prey to them, they unleash malware on their systems.
  • Baiting, as the name suggests, is another form of social engineering attack where the hacker physically baits the user into installing malware. Unlike phishing done online, baiting is more of an opposite approach, meaning the hacker can sometimes leave flash drives or USBs, so once the user opens it, it gets infected.
  • Watering Hole Attacks are another method used by social engineers wherein they target users by learning their profiles and then identifying the websites they visit frequently. Once they target a website, they compromise it with a vulnerability, so the user gets infected upon visiting the infected page.

How Can You Prevent Social Engineering Attacks?

  • Enabling Multi-Factor Authentications – This is one of the most basic measures you and your employees can take to secure their accounts. There needs to be more than just setting strong passwords nowadays. You will require another layer of protection that can authorise every login attempt.
  • Conduct Cybersecurity Awareness Training – Since social engineering primarily involves manipulating employees into giving out sensitive data, raising cyber awareness is the first step towards preventing it. It is always advised for organisations to regularly conduct cybersecurity awareness programs that explain the current threats, preventive measures and response programs in case of a breach. The organisation can even conduct simulations to educate employees, give them real-life situations, and see how they would engage.
  • Constantly Monitor Your Organisation’s Critical Systems – Cybercriminals are finding newer methods and techniques to hack into organisations, so you must ensure that your security team constantly monitors your systems. Conducting vulnerability assessment and penetration testing from time to time can help you spot and eradicate vulnerabilities.


Cybercriminals are getting more innovative day by day, and one of the trending techniques is Social Engineering. To combat this, every organisation must educate their employees and take preventive measures such as vulnerability assessments. If your organisation needs an infosec solution that can conduct Vulnerability Assessment & Penetration Testing, then we have the perfect customisable solution! Book a demo with ZinnoX to learn more about our award-winning solution and various services.

Posted on: October 29th2022