What do hackers do with your stolen data?

What do hackers do with your stolen data?

The thought of burglars breaking into your home while you’re sound asleep is why you make it a habit to lock your doors at night. You do it not because you want to protect some of your possessions, but because you want complete protection for your home.

If only more businesses had the same mindset there’d be fewer incidents of data breaches. But because there are so many digital assets to protect and so many ways for hackers to steal them, it’s easy for business owners to feel overwhelmed.

But don’t worry, Sabio’s All Inclusive IT support services provides data protection experts that are here to help. We believe that knowing what hackers do with your stolen data will help us implement a more effective strategy for protecting it.

Identity fraud

Hackers steal personally identifiable information (PII) like names, addresses, and social security numbers to break into someone’s accounts and exploit them. Businesses are particularly vulnerable because they handle and store huge amounts of this kind of data. And the more data they store, the greater the risks.

Business owners would greatly minimize the risks of identity theft by imposing strict security measures like different passwords for multiple accounts, changing these passwords periodically, deleting dormant customer data, and spreading their mission-critical files across multiple secure storage facilities.

The dark web

You may know that your personal data is worth something to cyberthieves, but do you know exactly how much? Based on one recent study, a scanned passport or driver’s license is worth anywhere from $10-$35 per document, while banking login credentials can fetch anywhere from $200-$500. That's right, hackers are bartering online with your PII.

For many hackers, stealing PII is an essential first step to making tons of money. They then go to the internet black market where they can anonymously sell (or trade) your data to whomever will pay the highest price.

Data ransom

Hackers can also lock your data and hold it for ransom. In fact, ransomware attacks have proven to be a highly effective cyberscam because they feed on their targets’ fear of losing their valuable data forever.

Although individuals and businesses are both targeted, going after the latter is undoubtedly more lucrative because there’s so much more at stake. Hackers understand that crucial business and customer information, the possibility of noncompliance, a damaged reputation, and ultimately plummeting profits can scare anyone into paying a ransom.

Your best defense against ransomware is an inclusive backup and disaster recovery plan that safeguards your business against attacks by having your data backed up on secure offsite locations. This way, you can simply ignore the ransom demands, retrieve copies of the locked files, and carry on about your business.

Non-monetary reasons

Financial gain remains a strong motivator for many cybercriminals, but they’re also driven by fame and ego, as in the case of the Ashley Madison breach and countless attacks on government websites. Stolen business data can also be the result of vengeful employees or competitors that want to gain an unfair advantage.

Or, hackers might steal your data just because they can. They view it as sport. Cybersecurity measures like two-factor authentication, visiting only secure websites, not clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown senders, and limiting the personal information you share online are tried-and-tested methods to keeping intruders out.

At Sabio Information Technologies, we treat clients’ IT infrastructure like a home with multiple doors that we guard and lock. Our IT support team have years of experience keeping business IT systems safe from the prying eyes of hackers. Call us today so we can do the same for you.