Administrators and security vendors must step up efforts to prevent social engineering attacks in the enterprise, according to security vendor Blue Coat Systems.
The company said in its annual security report that, in addition to swifter analysis and protection, end users need to be aware of the practices commonly used to trick them into installing malware and releasing sensitive data.
Blue Coat cited increasingly popular trends such as search engine optimisation and more sophisticated and targeted attacks, and said that companies need to make employees more aware rather than depend on new security tools and appliances.
"The increasing use of link farms to manipulate search engine results and prey on the trust users have in their internet experience drove many of the malware exploits we saw in 2009 and are continuing to see in 2010," said Blue Coat senior malware researcher Chris Larsen.
"To provide comprehensive protection in the face of these threats, enterprises need not only a layered defence but better user education."
The warning comes as people increasingly rely on the social networking platforms that are fertile ground for attacks.
Messaging over such platforms is beginning to replace some of the traffic on webmail services, and attacks from compromised accounts can be highly successful because people are more likely to trust links they believe to come from friends and acquaintances.
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