What Is the Impact of Social Engineering?

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 fairly obvious. A social engineer may cause a company or organization to lose money through deception, lost productivity, or identity theft.
  • Terrorism 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 because 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.

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