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Social Engineering: The Easiest Way to Get Access to Your Systems or To Information

Standard definition: Social engineering is the act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. While similar to a confidence trick or simple fraud, the term typically applies to trickery or deception for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or computer system access. Masquerading is another way to describe it. Social engineering can happen in person or over the telephone, even through text messaging and email.

To put it in banking terms, it is the act of getting valuable information from your institution’s systems, customers, or employees. The perpetrator’s goal is to gain the trust of an individual or just gain enough information from various sources to commit identify theft or obtain unauthorized access into your systems.

You go to great lengths to develop policies and to implement security controls but if employees succumb to social engineering it isn’t going to matter how many controls are in place.



Chief executive officers, management, auditors, operations, HR, and training departments, security officers, anyone interested in protecting the financial institution.

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