Social Engineering in Cybersecurity: The Evolution of a Concept

To target the networks, attackers are now using more advanced techniques. Individuals, small-scale corporations, and major organizations are all affected. Therefore, all these businesses, be it IT or non-IT industries, have understood the significance of cyber defense and have focused on taking all possible steps to deal with cyber attacks. This further raises the chances of bugs, leaks, and flaws, as we like to connect everything to the internet. 

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Learning of the Blog

  • What is Social Engineering?
  • Why Social Engineering?
  • Types of Social Engineering
  • Conclusion


81% of cybersecurity experts believe there will be more ransomware attacks than ever. So without further ado, let’s get started!


What is Social Engineering?

Social engineering is a non-technical technique used by cybercriminals that focuses heavily on human contact and mostly includes tricking individuals into breaching traditional security practices. The effectiveness of tactics of social engineering relies on the ability of attackers to trick victims into carrying out such acts or providing sensitive information. Today, social media is regarded as one of the organizations’ biggest security risks. In the sense that social engineering threats may be non-technical and do not usually require the compromise or abuse of devices or processes, social engineering varies from conventional hacking. Many social engineering attacks allow assailants to obtain legal, approved access to sensitive information if successful.


Why Social Engineering?

Social engineers are a type of fraudsters or con artists in the present day. Through gaining the trust of approved users or stealing the passwords of those users in order to masquerade as trusted insiders, they can attempt to access computer networks or data stores. It is normal for social engineers to focus on individuals’ inherent helpfulness or to try to manipulate their supposed flaws in their personality. They can call, for instance, with a feigned urgent issue that demands immediate network access. Social developers, often via social media, have been known to cater to the ego, authority, envy, or other data gleaned from eavesdropping or online sleuthing.


In order to convince people to open malware-infected email attachments, cybercriminals use social engineering techniques.


Types of Social Engineering

In order to educate workers on the popular forms of social engineering assaults, including baiting, phishing, pretexting, quid pro quo, spear phishing, and tailgating, your company should take action. Though there are technical mechanisms to help counteract social engineering, the best protection against these programs is ultimately to provide an employee base that is able to understand and resist typical social engineering techniques. 

Here is a rundown of common strategies for social engineering:

  • Baiting- Attackers execute baiting attacks when they leave a computer infected with malware, such as a USB flash drive or CD, in a position where it is likely to be discovered by others. A baiting attack’s effectiveness depends on the notion that the person who detects the gadget will load it onto their machine and install the malware unknowingly. The ransomware, once enabled, helps the intruder to advance through the device of the target.


  • Phishing- Phishing happens when an intruder makes malicious contacts from a trustworthy source with a target who is posing as genuine, frequently pretending, or seeming to be. The user is fooled into downloading malware on their computer or disclosing personal, financial, or company information during a phishing attack. For phishing attacks, email is the most common contact mode, but phishing may also use chat apps, social networking, phone calls, or spoofed websites built to look genuine.


  • Pretexting- It happens when an intruder fabricates fictitious scenarios in order to induce a person to have access to classified information or security programs. Examples of pretext attacks involve a scammer claiming to require financial details to validate the recipient’s identification or masquerading as a trustworthy individual, such as a member of the IT department of the corporation, in order to deceive the target into sharing login credentials or allowing access to the device.


  • Quid pro quo- When attackers seek private information from others in exchange for something desirable or some sort of reward, a quid pro quo attack happens. For example, in return for a free gift, an intruder demands login credentials. Remember, it definitely is, if it looks too amazing to be real.


  • Spear phishing- Spear phishing is a concentrated method of phishing attack focused on a single person or entity. In order to build trust and look more credible, spear-phishing attacks use personal information that is unique to the target. Sometimes, this information is taken from the social media pages of victims or other online practices. Spear phishers have higher success rates by personalizing their phishing techniques to manipulate users into allowing access or revealing confidential information such as financial records or trade secrets.


  • Tailgating- Tailgating is a technique of physical, social engineering that happens when unauthorized persons accompany approved persons into an otherwise safe area. The objective of tailgating is to acquire valuable property or confidential data.



The days when passwords were enough to secure the machine and its details are gone. In order to guarantee data privacy, Cyber Security is something you should know. For several companies and individual users who fall prey to these drawbacks, social engineering is a severe and continuing threat. Awareness is the first step in stopping the enterprise from falling prey to savvy criminals, using highly advanced social engineering tactics to obtain access to confidential data. Make a career in pentesting by becoming a white hat hacker, enroll in a pentesting course/white hat hacker certification, and be an asset to your organization!