Social engineering: the art of manipulation to obtain confidential information


Social engineering is a technique used by cybercriminals to trick you into sharing confidential information.

Unlike traditional attacks, which exploit technical flaws, social engineering targets human emotions such as trust, curiosity, fear or empathy. Cybercriminals often use a sense of urgency to push you to act without giving you time to think.

The consequences of social engineering can be disastrous. Not only can it result in significant financial losses, but it can also compromise data confidentiality, lead to data privacy breaches and damage your reputation or that of your company.


Current cyberattacks using social engineering techniques

  1. Phishing: This attack involves sending e-mails that appear to come from legitimate sources to trick users into providing sensitive information. It can also be done by SMS (Smishing), telephone (Vishing) or a combination of these techniques.
  2. Targeted phishing or Whaling: A cybercriminal targets executives or other specific individuals, posing as legitimate companies or partners. Cybercriminals use personal data they have discovered to send phishing links or attachments containing malware to gather information or attack systems.
  3. CEO or Executive fraud: A cybercriminal poses as a company executive to obtain banking data or request a financial transaction from an employee or supplier, insisting that the matter be kept confidential.
  4. Tailgating enables a malicious individual to gain physical access to a building or secure area. After identifying an unsecured entrance, the fraudster follows an employee, who, as a courtesy, holds the door open, allowing him to enter the premises.
  5. Decoy attack: An individual posing as a company executive, IT technician, bank employee or police officer contacts you by telephone or in person. Taking advantage of his position of trust, he collects confidential information from you.
  6. The Watering hole attack is based on advanced social engineering techniques. Cybercriminals seek to compromise legitimate websites frequently visited by a company’s employees, with the aim of infecting their devices when they visit the site.
  7. Baiting: This tactic lures Internet users into making a free download, enabling the attacker to install malicious code on one or more computers.
  8. Gift card fraud: Gift cards were not designed to make payments to individuals. No executive or colleague will ever ask you to buy gift cards and send them the numbers or PIN codes by text or photo.
  9. Deepfake: This technique involves using the AI-generated voice and/or video of an acquaintance or colleague to mislead and manipulate you into providing confidential information or making a payment.


Protecting yourself against social engineering attacks

There are measures and good practices everyone can apply to protect their data:

  • Awareness: Stay alert and educate those around you about social engineering techniques, so that you can recognize the warning signs.
  • Verify sources: Check the authenticity of requests for information or transactions by contacting the company or individual concerned directly via an official and reliable means of communication.
  • Distrust: Be skeptical of unexpected requests for personal, financial or company information, especially if they are urgent or threatening.
  • Be wary on social networks: Limit/control the personal information you disclose on the Internet and social networks, as it could be used by cybercriminals. Don’t accept contact requests from strangers.
  • Use different, complex passwords for different applications: If one of your passwords is compromised, a cybercriminal will not be able to spread his attack to other devices.
  • Change your password: If you think your account has been compromised, change your password immediately.
  • Contact IT support: Notify the IT team if you believe your professional data has been compromised, such as your username and password, so that access to your account can be blocked.

Social engineering represents a serious threat to information security. By understanding the techniques used by fraudsters and adopting appropriate security practices, you can help protect your data and prevent malicious attacks.


Why choose Secur01 ?

  • Awareness and training

Our awareness program is designed to help you educate your employees about the dangers of social engineering. We offer interactive digital awareness capsules, tailored awareness materials and training courses.

  • Policies and processes

We can draft your policies and processes required by law (e.g. Law 25), by cyber-insurance or by your customers. Whether it’s a security policy, a password management policy or guidelines for the use of artificial intelligence, we can quickly draw up documents to meet all your needs.

  • Phishing simulation

Our phishing campaign service simulates real-life attacks to assess your organization’s resilience to email-based social engineering attempts.

  • Email security

Our tools offer proactive protection against online threats by blocking suspicious e-mails.

  • Incident response

Our response team is ready to act quickly to contain threats, assess potential impacts and ensure the integrity of your systems.

  • Access management

By limiting access to sensitive data and enforcing strict security policies, we reduce the risk of compromise through social engineering.

  • Expertise

We are always available to serve our customers, offering personalized, expert advice to help you protect your assets.


Contact us to ensure your compliance, increase your cyber resilience, reduce your risks and optimize your costs.

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