Recently, there has been a lot of commotion throughout the cybersecurity industry about the rise of social engineering attacks. As there should be—in the past few months there have been three high-profile incidents. Recent victims of social engineering attacks include a ride share app, a password manager platform, and a video game publisher.
Despite this recent increase in attacks, social engineering has been around for millennia, dating back to 1184 B.C.E. (yes, really) with the Trojan horse attack at the famous Battle of Troy. While there may not have been computers back then, the Greeks did socially engineer their way into the gates of Troy by tricking the Trojans into believing the wooden horse was a peace offering. 🐴⚔️😵 And when they breached the gates, the Greeks took over the city.
In a similar fashion, today’s hackers leverage social engineering tactics to gain access to a company’s application code and network systems. Social engineering attacks have only grown more prevalent and sophisticated.
The State of Cybercrime Today
While any workforce user can become a target of a social engineering attack, today, software engineers are among the most targeted. Here’s what we’ve determined:
- There is an upward trend in attack rates (142%) for engineers, which accelerated starting around April 2022.
- There is a significant difference in attack rates between engineers vs. non-engineers after July 2021. (IT engineers were targeted 8x more often.)
What does this rise in social engineering tell us about the state of cybercrime today? Because of the increase in attacks, organizations need a way to understand and mitigate user risk at an individual level. Even Microsoft states, “It’s critical that organizations start thinking about how and why they should be implementing a holistic data protection strategy across their entire organization that encompasses people, processes, training, and tools.”
Check out our infographic, The Rise of Social Engineering Attacks: An Overview of the State of Cybercrime, to see:
- The history of social engineering
- Why threat actors today are targeting engineers and developers
- Elevate Security’s insights on the data surrounding the attack rate on engineers and developers
- How to leverage insider risk mitigation tools and strategies to reduce the likelihood of your engineers becoming victims of a social engineering attack
- With Elevate Security, you can identify and respond proactively to your organization’s highest risk users to prevent social engineering attacks (among others) from affecting your engineers and your organization as a whole. Get in touch with us to learn more about how Elevate Security can help protect your organization from the inside out.