How to protect your company from social engineering cyberattacks?

3-minute masterclass

Sven Mannetstätter

Worldwide, cybercrime figures keep on rising year after year. Securing your company network is crucial to protect you from cyberattacks, such as malware, phishing and ransomware. However, you can secure your network all you want, in many cases, it is the human factor that is the weakest link. In this article, you’ll learn why cybersecurity guidelines are important and how you can help employees to detect cyber threats and avoid social engineering attacks.

Every 39 seconds a computer or networks is attacked by malicious hackers (University of Maryland). More than two-thirds of IT security professionals believe a successful cyberattack is imminent in the coming year. No wonder organisations invest more and more in IT security solutions each year. In many cybercrime cases, the cause is not missing or insufficient IT security components, but an ill-considered human action by one or more employees.

What is social engineering?

Social engineering is a manipulation technique that exploits the one weakness that is found in every organisation: human psychology. So-called “social engineers” tend to lure unsuspecting users into exposing data, spreading malware infections, or giving access to restricted systems.

Over 30% of all malicious attacks are the result of social engineering techniques. The most common type of social engineering attacks is phishing. Phishing scams generally use fake websites or forms to steal user login credentials and other personal data.

How to protect yourself from social engineering attacks?

Adequate identity- and access management is crucial to protect your company networks from social engineering attacks, but it is not sufficient. Not technology, but employees are the most common entry points for phishers. When one of your employees gets tricked by a phishing mail, your organisation and data are at risk, despite all your efforts.

That is why you must learn your employees to detect and avoid phishing and other social engineering attacks. That means you should invest in a cybersecurity training programme that sets out rules, guidelines and best practices that guarantee the safety and security of both employees and the organisation.

How to implement a cybersecurity training program in your organisation?

To prevent your employees from falling into the trap of social engineer attacks, we give you 3 tips that will help you implement a good cybersecurity training programme in your organisation:

1. Include all crucial cybersecurity topics

The main goal of your cybersecurity training programme is to help your employees detect cybercrime scams and take the necessary precautions to avoid cyberattacks. The following topics are indispensable in your cybersecurity training:

    • Most common types of cyberattacks: Your employees must know what to look out for. They need an overview of the most common cybersecurity threats, such as phishing emails, ransomware, spam and malware.
    • Password security: Your employees must understand how important passwords are in the protection against cybercrime and how they can set strong passwords.
    • Internet and email security policies: Set out clear policies for internet browsing and social media usage on company devices, and for using company email addresses. Explain which links can be clicked on, and which not.
    • Company data protection: Explain the rules and legal obligations of the protection of company information and data.
    • Identification and reporting of cyberthreats: Learn your employees how they can identify and report unexplained errors, spam content and legitimate antivirus warnings.

2. Let everyone in your company follow the training

Every single person in your organisation should follow the cybersecurity training programme. Incorporate the training in your onboarding programme for new employees. Creating awareness about cyber threats should start from day one.

3. Update and repeat your cybersecurity training frequently

Cybercrime is constantly evolving. And cybercriminals are constantly developing new types of cyberattacks. That means you should update your training regularly to keep on track with the latest cybercrime evolutions. Let your employees participate in a refreshment course at least once in a year.


Not your security technology, but your employees are the most sensitive elements of your cybersecurity strategy. By implementing a cybersecurity training programme, you can help employees detect and report cyber threats before they become a real problem for your organisation.

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