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Social Engineering - Impact

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  • Social Engineering - Impact

    Social engineering can have many potential outcomes on an organization, some obvious and some less so. It is important that you understand each of these, because they can have far-reaching effects:

    Economic Loss
    This one is obvious. A social engineer may cause a company or organization to lose money through deception, lost productivity, or identity theft.

    Perhaps one of the more visible forms of social engineering is terrorism. In this case, a target is coerced into action through the threat of physical violence.

    Loss of Privacy
    An attacker using these techniques can easily steal information to perform identity theft on any number of victims.

    Lawsuits and Arbitrations
    Depending on the compromise, the successful completion of an attack may result in lawsuits or other actions against the victim or the victim's organization.

    Temporary or Permanent Closure
    Depending on how bad the breach is, the result can be catastrophic, with an entire business closing as a result of mounting financial losses and lawsuits.

    Loss of Goodwill
    Although all losses may not be monetary, they can still be devastating, such as the loss of goodwill from customers or clients.

    A social engineering attack can be just as damaging or more so than a technical attack. Even though it might be possible to do such things as cracking passwords, sometimes you can get what you need just by asking for it.
    Certified Security Geek