What is a Data Breach?
When unauthorized individuals gain access to your confidential or sensitive data, this is known as a data breach. It can result in the loss, destruction, alteration, and disclosure of this information. Financially motivated cyber attacks are often involved in a data breach, with attackers looking to sell the data on the cyber underground or hold it to ransom with the threat of publicly exposing the breach if their demands are not met.
Growing digitization of business operations means no organization is safe from a potential breach. And with the staggering impact that breach can have, it is something that every organization should be fighting to avoid: the loss of customer trust sinks sales, hefty legal penalties must be paid, and the loss or modification of data stalls business operations. In 2022, it was found that the average cost was $4.35m USD. Cyber security teams must be poised, ready to prevent future data breaches.
How do data breaches occur?
The most common cause of a data breach is through the use of compromised credentials to gain access into an organization’s network. These credentials may have been bought on the cyber underground from a previous data breach, or pried from an employee in a social engineering attack.
Delaying the latest patch update will provide threat actors with vulnerabilities to leverage for entry to your network. Also, the cloud services used by many operations often operate a shared responsibility model for cyber security, leading to customer generated misconfigurations in the infrastructure which may permit unauthorized users access to confidential data stored there.
Social Engineering Attacks
Phishing attacks are an example of such an attack. By impersonating a legitimate source, or using an emotional appeal, a threat actor can trick an unwitting member of staff into revealing their log in details or download malware simply by asking through an email or SMS. The threat may already be waiting in your inbox!
An employee can inadvertently download malware such as keyloggers onto their operating system, which sends their personal data back to a command and control server.
How Can You Prevent a Data Breach?
Acknowledging threat actors exist both within and outside of a network helps protect your organization. This model of security does not assume correct credentials are enough proof for a user to access data. Each access request requires multiple components to be confirmed, such as multifactor authentication (MFA) and device health and location, before permission is granted.
Threat actors are constantly searching for vulnerabilities to exploit. Running on outdated patches allows actors to leverage vulnerabilities in systems such as web applications, server software, or content management systems (CMS). Ensuring your patching is up to date minimizes the risk of fraud being committed.
Train employees to recognise social engineering attacks such as phishing scams so it is far harder for threat actors to steal confidential data through this attack vector.
How Can Intel 471 Help?
The longer you take to identify and contain a data breach, the greater the impact to your company. This is why Intel 471 monitors the cyber underground continuously and alerts you of signs you have been breached so that you can take action to mitigate, fast. We also alert to relevant threats including the sale of compromised credentials which may elicit a breach or the targeting of specific vulnerabilities by threat actors to prevent future attacks.
Check if you’ve left the door open for threat actors by mapping your ever growing attack surface. Intel 471’s Attack Surface Protection will map your assets so you can identify unpatched shadow IT providing an entry point for attackers. We can also monitor your attack surface continually and alert you to any changes that you need to be aware of.
Our ‘boots on the ground’ intelligence team procure a unique understanding of threat actors’ tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). This informs our timely alerts and intelligence reports on relevant threats to your organization, such as if a ransomware group is colluding with an employee.
We provide technical intelligence, such as IOCs, derived from tracking malware and malicious infrastructures which can help you identify intrusion attempts and malware infections more efficiently and effectively to mitigate the damage of a future data breach.
We are your window into the cyber underground. Our unparalleled cyber threat intelligence (CTI) offers unique insights into attackers’ intent and motivation to change the odds of an attack. Our intelligence can help you detect and prevent and detect breaches as quickly as possible to eliminate or minimize impact. Our capabilities include: