How to Train Your Employees Against Social Engineering
6 min readJun 21, 2021

Hackers are finding new ways to break network security and steal sensitive information, thanks to new advances in software and hardware. So what is the point where companies suffer the most? Most studies show that this spot is the employees. So, one small mistake by your employees can destroy the security work your IT department has spent years on. That’s why companies need to take this situation seriously. To reduce the social engineering threat, it is imperative that you train your employees. So, how can you train your employees against social engineering

Social engineering is one of the ways hackers often use when trying to get hold of sensitive data. Hackers especially take advantage of the lack of training of employees. So, when your employees don’t know how to recognize and deal with these types of attacks, they can fall victim to attacks. These types of attacks are often less predictable than the attacks we encounter. That’s why each of your company employees is a potential victim, and these employees can make mistakes. Hackers will get what they want in most attacks unless you take advantage of regular and interactive social engineering training.

How to Train Your Employees Against Social Engineering: What is Social Engineering?

Social engineering is the use of any means to trick an employee into providing their personal information. Personal information targeted by hackers can include sensitive data, passwords and various files. So, by pretending to be someone familiar, social engineers persuade employees to provide their personal information. Let’s examine the various types of social engineering together.

1. Standard Social Engineering Attacks

  • It can be done face-to-face or over the phone.
  • The hacker claims to be someone important and requests information from the victim. The requested information includes employee identification information and similar information.
  • The hacker can request access to a server room.
  • If the victim complies with the hacker’s requests, the hacker can infiltrate the corporate network.

2. Physical Social Engineering Attacks

In this type of social engineering attack, unlike standard social engineering attacks, there is no online communication between the hacker and the employee. For example, hackers can sneak into the company by watching for an open door or stealing employee IDs. Afterwards, they leave the USBs containing malware to various parts of the company and wait for the employees to use this USB. If any employee uses this device at work, the entire system can be infected with malware.

3. Email Social Engineering Attacks

Email social engineering attacks are similar to standard social engineering attacks in many ways. According to research, these types of social engineering attacks cause more than $3.7 million in losses annually in the United States. In this type of attack, hackers send their victims a legitimate-looking phishing email. The e-mail may contain malware or the e-mail contains links to fake websites. The attack succeeds when employees open files or click links in the email.

So, How To Train Your Employees Against Social Engineering?

Companies can organize social engineering training in a variety of ways. But the most important thing is to determine the policies that will guide this training. That’s why you need to know the methods and tools you need to use in training. Here are five methods you can use in social engineering training:

1. Use a Social Engineering Corporate Policy to Motivate Your Employees!

Most companies feel that employees should understand attacks on their own and do not establish a corporate policy. But it is very important to use an institutional policy in social engineering attacks. In this way, your employees can recognize and evaluate social engineering initiatives faster and protect themselves from these attacks. However, the policy you will write should not be a long document full of legal information, and you should use a language that employees can understand.

Here are a few details you can include in your corporate social engineering policy:

  • Request authentication from your employees who need access to important documents.
  • Investigate and report suspicious situations immediately.
  • Do not use USB devices that you are not sure are company aired.
  • Ask your employees whose identities are stolen or missing to report the situation within 12 hours.
  • Do not open emails from someone you do not know.
  • Report suspicious and possible phishing emails to your IT team.
  • Notify your administrator if you fall victim to a social engineering attack.

2. Constantly Instil Cybersecurity Awareness in Your Employees.

Make your employees part of the training. Share real-life scenarios with them or send them regular e-mails to provide various reports. Support their development with educational newsletters and similar content. If possible, have cybersecurity videos play on company screens. Involve your newly hired employees especially quickly.

Emphasize in your training that social engineering attacks should also be taken care of in private life. Hackers can steal information about your employees anytime, anywhere. It is very dangerous to share information openly, especially on social media. This type of behaviour can be a source of social engineering attacks.

3. Plan the Social Engineering training you offer your employees from scratch.

The most important tool in fighting against social engineering attacks is compulsory and regular social engineering training. This training should be mandatory for all employees, including managers. But if your company does not have someone who is competent to manage the training, it is best to work with a cybersecurity company.

The cybersecurity awareness training we offer give your employees the information they need to protect your business. It provides your employees with comprehensive training on phishing, spear phishing, whaling, baiting, BEC, ransomware, malware, and social engineering attacks that pose a major threat to email security. Click for more information.

4. Teach Your Employees to Be Inquisitive.

If you want to be successfully protected from social engineering incidents, it is very important to be inquisitive. In particular, you should be sceptical of people you don’t know and not share your information until you are sure that their purposes are good. Your employees should always question and think about the person and situation they are facing.

5. Test the Effectiveness of Social Engineering Training.

Build a team at your company that will deal specifically with social engineering attacks. Ask this team to follow the progress of the training and report the results. In addition, you can test the effectiveness of the training with phishing simulations.

As we know, the number of social engineering attacks is increasing and the attacks are getting more sophisticated. But, using our Phishing Simulation tool, you can easily detect the security awareness of your employees with simulated phishing scenarios to assess the level of vulnerability. Our tool helps you create various attack groups and you can use a different simulated phishing attack for each group. In addition, using our reporting feature, you can monitor and track your employees during simulated attacks and create an effective cybersecurity awareness program. After testing employees, tell them what they did wrong and how they can avoid it in the future. Be careful not to embarrass them while doing this.

If you do not already have a social engineering education program, prepare an effective program as soon as possible. Test the program you have prepared on your employees and monitor the results.