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The Human Element in Cybersecurity: Safeguarding your organisation

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Tim Walker

Social Engineering: The Art of Deception


Social engineering is a sophisticated psychological technique that manipulates individuals to obtain sensitive information, such as personal credentials or financial data. It is a cyberattack that exploits human behaviour and vulnerabilities, rather than technical weaknesses, to achieve its objective. Some typical social engineering techniques are listed below:

Phishing: Cybercriminals impersonate trusted email sources and trick people into sharing confidential information or clicking on malicious links. For instance, an employee may unwittingly reveal login credentials by responding to an urgent-looking email.

Pretexting: Perpetrators create elaborate scenarios to extract information in pretexting attacks. Imagine an attacker posing as an IT support technician, convincing an employee to reveal system details or reset passwords.

Tailgating: This physical social engineering tactic involves an unauthorised person following an employee into a secure area. A friendly request like “Hold the door, please” can lead to unauthorised access.

Security Awareness Training: A Vital Investment


Investing in security awareness training pays dividends. Here’s how organisations can foster a security-conscious culture:

Regular Training Sessions: Conduct interactive sessions on phishing awareness, password hygiene, and safe browsing. Employees should recognise red flags and report suspicious incidents promptly.

Simulated Attacks: Regularly simulate phishing attacks to gauge employees’ responses. Provide immediate feedback and reinforce good practices.

Tailored Content: Customise training materials to address industry-specific risks. For instance, financial institutions may focus on protecting customer data, while healthcare organisations emphasise patient privacy.

Building a Security-Conscious Workforce


Leadership buy-in is an excellent way to encourage staff to endorse cybersecurity and become a security conscious workforce.

Board Commitment: Boards must prioritise cybersecurity. Allocate resources for training, technology, and incident response.

Lead by Example: Executives should champion security practices. When leaders prioritise security, employees follow suit.

Employee Engagement


Once employees are onboard and training has been introduced, it is vital that on-going security is adhered to.

Clear Policies: Communicate security policies. Employees should understand their responsibilities and the consequences of non-compliance.

Reward Vigilance: Acknowledge employees who report incidents or demonstrate security awareness.

In Conclusion


In cybersecurity, the human element can be the weakest link. However, it can also act as the most robust defence mechanism. By instilling a security-conscious mindset among employees, organisations can mitigate risks, safeguard sensitive data, and strengthen their digital resilience. It is crucial to understand that cybersecurity is not limited to the IT department alone – it is the responsibility of every individual in the organisation to remain alert and follow best practices to ensure a secure digital environment.


Contact Aura Technology  


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