Types of data that are highly sought-after by hackers

Types of data that are highly sought-after by hackers

We all know the importance of installing security software, avoiding suspicious email links, and practicing good password hygiene. After all, with cybercrime statistics increasing by the year, with attacks now happening every 39 seconds, users have become more vigilant.

But what exactly do hackers want from our data? Why go through the effort of creating sophisticated malware programs and risking extensive criminal charges?
Below, we explore the types of data most popular among malicious hackers — and how our experts at InTouch keep you safe.

Data security infographic

Personal information

One of the most common data types sought after by hackers is their target’s personal information. By getting a hold of your personal devices, criminals can gain access to sensitive data such as your emails, social media accounts, banking apps, and healthcare information.

This allows them to commit various cybercriminal activity, including identity theft, fraud, and financial theft. Even the more obscure information such as your the schools you attended, companies you worked for, and pets’ names can additionally be used to further break into your other devices and online accounts.

With access to online social profiles, criminals can commit further scams using your name and personal details. In other cases, hackers can simply sell your personal information on the dark web. According to RSA, personal data sells for as little as 20 cents, with the highest price at an average of $15.

Corporate information

Intellectual property is the cornerstone of a business’s growth and success. Designing and developing new products are hard enough on its own, let alone when facing cutthroat market competition.

As such, company secrets and proprietary information are sought-after by hackers for corporate espionage. They attempt to cash in on your ideas first, tapping into the intended target market and leaving you at a grand financial loss. These malicious actors may even turn out to be employees of the target company themselves.

To prevent these insider threats, it’s vital to have clear, consistent security policies and controls in place — more specifically, those that cover account management, user monitoring, third-party access, and incident response procedures. Physical security should also be implemented, such as locking server rooms and enabling surveillance. Having a system in place to log, monitor, and audit employee activity can help in tracking suspicious behavior.

Digital infrastructure

Rather than paying for their own resources, criminals may instead choose to tap into someone’s IT infrastructuring, dumping files and consuming server resources to meet their nefarious goals. Hackers will thus typically aim for larger infrastructures, usually those of large businesses and tech companies.

If your company starts experiencing significant system slowdowns, a sudden lack of storage space, and mysterious devices connecting to the network, you may have been hijacked by third-party threats.

Prevent these intrusions from taking place by securing your routers, enabling firewall and encryption protection, and conducting regular risk and vulnerability assessments to ensure total, updated protection of your network systems and perimeter.

Network data

Finally, some hackers are simply looking to breach your network and hold your data for ransom. They care less about your information, and more about what you can offer in exchange for it.

Ransomware attacks are among the most common forms of cybercrime, costing businesses an average of $133,000 per attack, with the hardest-hit among the healthcare industry. Companies not only face financial loss from the direct attack, but also from the extensive downtime, reduced productivity, and loss in customers that follow.

Since most ransomware attacks stem from social engineering and phishing attacks, it helps to educate employees in the methods of spotting and avoiding these common tactics.

Cybercrimes show no signs of slowing down, with hackers growing ever-more sophisticated in their methods. It’s therefore crucial to keep cybersecurity a top priority, no matter your business size. InTouch IT offers comprehensive security solutions to ensure business safety, compliance, and continuity. We’ll provide you peace of mind as we ensure your data stays in good hands. Keep security risks at a minimum, and get in touch with us today.

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