If you do business in the modern, data driven age, you know that data theft and cybercrime is an ever-present concern. While we all work our hardest to prevent these criminals from accessing our networks and stealing our data, it’s only inevitable that there will be some successful hacks and data breaches. So what happens when your data is stolen? What do these criminals do with the data that is rightfully yours?
They sell your information. There are a variety of ways criminals might try to profit from your information directly. The most common way criminals try to sell your data is by advertising on the dark web, a subnet of the internet that is rife with viruses, criminal activity, and generally unsavory content. Accessing the dark web requires special software, and is not advised. Some of the most robust cybersecurity solutions use artificial intelligence to scan the dark web for stolen data, giving you more time to react and recover.
They launch spear phishing campaigns. Criminals can use your information to better target other organizations or individuals. This can be your employees or your clients—if they have the right information, they can craft messaging that nobody would feel safe ignoring, which opens the door for even more stolen data. One successful data breach can give criminals the tools they need to snowball their profits, breaching more and more networks, until the damage is catastrophic.
They pretend to be you. Identity theft becomes possible, if not outright easy, once your data has been stolen. They can open bank accounts in your name, attempt to claim tax refunds, file insurance claims, and more. They can also use your information to impersonate you in phishing scams, which we’ve already discussed.
They can attack even more accounts. If a criminal has access to your usernames and passwords for one or two accounts, they can then use that same data to try and brute-force your other accounts. They can use an automated process to spam social media accounts, bank accounts, email accounts, and more with the data they have. The more accounts they gain access to, the more information they have, which lets them snowball their profits even more.
As you can see, data breaches are serious business—and they’re never isolated. Protecting yourself against data breaches needs to be a top priority, and you also need to have a strict cybersecurity policy in place. Ideally, that plan has a process in place that guides you and your team through password protection, updating account information, and enabling multi-factor authorization to prevent further breaches. We recommend working with a dedicated IT resource to help develop these measures.
Schedule a call with 10D Tech if you would like to create a technology security plan that prevents the crime and recovers the network/data quickly in case of a breach.