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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