7 Types of Technology that Prevent Social Hacking
Social hacking is a dangerous trend that has always been a part of the criminal community. From the dawn of civilization, there have been con artists. These are people willing to collect information, lie, and steal from the people they lie to. Sometimes they target people personally, like going after savings or a credit card or identity theft. Sometimes they go after businesses, going for insider information or a mother-load of personal data.
You can learn about phishing and how to avoid it. You can train your team. But we can’t be completely diligent, 100% of the time. Hackers are creative, and we all have lives to live in addition to personal cybersecurity. This is where technology comes into play. There is software that can be used individually or as a team to detect, stop, and report hacks — even social hacks — before they can do any damage.
Today, we’re highlighting software specifically designed to prevents social hacking, the most subtle type of infiltration and hacker theft.
1. Email Scam Detection Software
Phishing emails tend to have certain markers. We can train ourselves to spot these markers, but we can also train software to detect them as well. The identifiers software can spot include:
- Sender is not on your contact list
- Sender email address is close to — but is not — someone on your contact list
- Message text shares or requests personal information
- Message requests money transfer
- Message asks for password or security key
- Message contains suspicious files and attachment
These factors and others like them can be set as triggers, causing a flagged alert to appear in a user’s email UI. When your software thinks that an email is potentially social hacking, users are alerted so they can more consciously judge for themselves.
2. File Security Scanners
Suspicious files are a primary way that social hackers work. When they’re not phishing for specific information or access, a phishing email might just be to encourage a click. An infected file, image, or program can be attached to the email. The email then gives context on why to click it. There might, alternately, be a link to a malicious website.
Email scanners are designed to scan the files (and often the links) inside emails to check if they are safe. If anything is out of the ordinary, like extra files that download themselves when you click, the files will be flagged as malicious. In some cases, you can set up employee files to be unable to open anything flagged without IT review.
3. Contact Lists
The humble contact list is one of the best software solutions to phishing. In many roles, emails to a work email address should only be coming from known contacts or expected new contacts. Phishing often tries to use similar-but-not-quite email addresses that resemble your contacts. The human eye might miss the difference between “firstname.lastname@example.org” and “email@example.com”, but your contact list will. If it looks like a contact and talks like a contact, but isn’t on your contact list, that is a leading sign of phishing.
4. Cloud Document Management
Malicious files are a primary vector, and sometimes the file comes deeper into the social hack. A hacker may pretend to be a customer seeking service, then send files to be opened in the process. They may pretend to be a business partner or coworker with a file to send. What do you do when you have to trade files with strangers as part of business, but need to do so safely?
The answer is document managers. A document manager is a cloud platform to store and access documents. Google Drive is the most popular public version, but there are many specialty industry versions. The key is that both parties upload their files to the platform, which becomes a cybersecurity buffer of infection. Then both parties access — but do not download — files from the platform.
In this way, the possibility of infection from outside files is minimized to eliminated.
5. Web-Domain Blacklist Blocking
Google and the rest of the internet community have come together to form a blacklist. Actually, there are several sources of internet blacklists. These lists contain websites and web domains that are known bad-actors. They send spam, they host malware, or are hopelessly infected. These blacklisted sites are sometimes dark-net locations, and are often the functional domains of hackers, from which they send their malicious messages and software.
Google helps to block these sites, but you can go beyond browser protection. Make sure that your company’s servers, cloud, and email are all protected by blocking blacklisted web domains beyond what Google and your default security settings provide.
6. Editing Private Information
Text editing add-ons have become popular for many professionals who write reports, emails, and content. Programs that can check for spelling and grammar can also detect when the writing format may be revealing sensitive information. Instead of “It looks like you’re writing a letter, would you like help?”, users will get a message that says “It looks like you’re writing personal information. Make sure your contact is trusted and this information is safe to send in a plain-text email”.
This kind of alert can help anyone double-check their choices to share information. Either they confirm for themselves that the decision is correct or it can save someone from revealing information who was already halfway phished.
7. Hacker Reporting Platform
Finally, your team needs a way to report hacks when they happen. When we work together to identify and stop hackers, we block of bigger and bigger sections of the business world and share of the internet. Every tactic, every domain name they use, we can report, identify, label, and prevent. You can direct everyone to report directly to the FBI using the IC3 online form or you can provide a platform for detailed reporting that can benefit the company and forward to the IC3 report as well.
Social hacking is something we must stop individually by detecting a phishing attempt and choosing not to fall for it. But technology can help. From email scanning to document sharing, there are many ways to prevent social hacking with tools that can be implemented for an entire company. Contact us today to learn more about building an infrastructure to back up your employee cybersecurity training.