4 Techniques Cybercriminals Use to Attack Your Business’s Data

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Threat actors know that your company’s data is a priceless asset. Hackers can use it for blackmail, identity theft, sales on the Dark Web, and much more. In addition to operational downtime, data loss can result in legal, financial, and reputational damages. The damages can be so severe that manymedium-sized businesses don’t recover after a crippling cybersecurity attack. To make matters worse, cybercriminals are using increasingly sophisticated ways to attack your data. 

#1 Ransomware Attacks 

Ransomware attacks are all over the news nowadays. Online extortion gangs leverage this malware to lock your data and hold it for ransom. Typically, they threaten to permanently corrupt your files and folders if you don’t pay a fee for the decryption key. 

Unfortunately, there’s never a guarantee that paying the ransom will unlock the data. Some gangs simply disappear after collecting payment, while others only unlock part of the data before demanding more money. Others still steal the data and sell it to other cybercriminals. 

#2 Spyware Attacks 

Spyware may sound like something out of a James Bond film, but it’s very real. Threat actors use spyware to read sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and documents. Some industrial spies also use a brand of spyware called a keylogger to secretly log keystrokes from sensitive computers and steal intellectual property.

#3 Spear-phishing Attacks 

You probably know phishing attacks as fake emails designed to trick your staff into sharing confidential information or installing malware like ransomware, spyware, or rootkits. Regular phishing attacks are easy to identify with some training because they hit a broad range of targets. 

However, spear-phishing attacks are much more convincing. These types of attacks are customized to deceive their targets using information extracted from public spaces like social media pages. For example, a spear-phishing email sent to the HR department may appear to be from the company’s CEO. It may carry some personal information about the target to appear compelling. 

#4 Trojan horse  

Trojans are types of malwares that appear legitimate but are designed to attack your computer. They get their name from the Greek mythology story of the Trojan horse, where Greek soldiers hid inside a giant wooden horse to enter the city of Troy. 

Different types of Trojans have different functions, but more sophisticated Trojans can create backdoors in company computers, steal data, or take aim at financial information. 

Stopping Cybersecurity Attacks with Microsoft 365 Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

If you’re concerned about data security, consider using Microsoft 365 DLP with the help of a reputable IT consulting services team. In a nutshell, DLP mitigates the risk of sensitive information like financial data, social security numbers, and propriety data from being overshared or modified. 

Let’s look at some key features of DLP in Microsoft 365:

  • Admins receive alerts when sensitive data is shared on platforms such as SharePoint, OneDrive, Exchange, or Teams
  • Popup warnings when sensitive data is at risk
  • Users can be prevented from sharing sensitive information
  • Desktop applications can monitor sensitive data
  • The ability to lock and move sensitive data
  • Education for team members about compliance maintenance
  • Sensitive information is not visible to users
  • Advanced reports that match custom-made DLP protocols

In addition to using excellent DLP software, companies should maintain a sound DLP policy. Employees should also be trained to recognize social engineering attacks and malicious software. Anti-malware software, advanced monitoring applications, and air-gapped systems can also mitigate the threat of ransomware attacks.

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