What would you say is the most effective form of cyberattack? Most of us are familiar with threats such as ransomware, which usually involves phishing emails. However, there is one cyberattack vector which is a rising threat, that is vishing or voice phishing. Vishing uses the telephone to elicit information from targets that could lead to network, personal, or financial compromise. Vishing has become the second largest vector (next to email phishing) that we see today. With just one phone call, an enterprise can suffer devastating consequences. This is why security awareness and training are vitally important for a company to protect their information and assets. Some may argue that a simulated vishing test does not effectively train employees to identify and respond to vishing threats. This could be based on how their test was performed. Let’s discuss some ways vishing simulations are performed, and which is the most effective.
Some companies use robocalls to perform their vishing attacks simulations. These simulations feed a prerecorded call to specific phone numbers on a list. The automated voice asks the target to state their name and other sensitive information. Robocalls have become so common that most people hang up when they receive them. This form of testing, though inexpensive, does not provide an opportunity for the tested population to think critically and shut down the caller, thus it’s not the most effective method of testing.
Scripted vishing calls are exactly that-scripted. Some cybersecurity companies outsource their vishing to call centers. During this type of vishing test, the caller reads the pretext directly from a script. The call center employees that perform these calls are not professionally trained in social engineering techniques; therefore, they do not employ the same principles of influence that criminals use. This form of testing does not provide a true to life scenario where the tested party can follow their company’s verification procedure to attempt to verify the caller.
Professionally Trained Vishers
Professionally trained vishers create tailored pretext to fit their client’s needs. While they stay within the boundaries of pre-approved pretexts, they are not tied to a script. They are able to adapt and overcome possible objections, as well as apply the same principles of influence as real attackers. This makes the simulated attacks very realistic and effective. Another benefit is that professional vishers adhere to the customized rules of engagement, making the testing safe and ethical. Human–to–human testing is one thing, but expert–to–human makes the testing and training so much more effective.
What Would You Choose?
If you had to train and test your employees on how to handle a vishing call, which choice would you go with? Robocalls? Impersonal scripted calls? Or expert professionals?
As we have considered, the most effective method would be to choose a program that is realistic and that can thoroughly test employees. Where can you find professionally trained vishers? Is there even such a thing? Yes, there is. Social-Engineer LLC, has a team of professionals dedicated to vishing and testing in an ethical yet effective way. Visit our website for a full description of the services we offer. At Social-Engineer LLC, our work is rooted in empathy. This allows us to think like the bad guys but never become them.
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