Hackers are always on the hunt for the most valuable business assets that they can steal or exploit to their benefit. Business owners like you need to be aware of these high-value targets so you can take effective measures to protect your data and systems.
Here are five types of business assets that are most sought-after by hackers:
Personal information like Social Security numbers, home addresses, and signatures are highly attractive to hackers. They can use stolen personal information to commit identity theft, fraud, and other criminal activities. They can also use it to gain access to banking, social media, and other online accounts. Hackers may also attempt to use this data for extortion or blackmail or simply sell it on the dark web for a profit.
If you store your employees' and clients' personal information on your system, it is essential that you take extra steps to secure them. This includes encrypting the data and limiting access to only those who need it. Using strong passwords as well as implementing multifactor authentication on the accounts of those who have access to the data can go a long way in keeping the information safe.
Hackers also often target corporate accounts, such as those used by employees or clients. These accounts can contain confidential information that could be used to gain access to the company's systems or networks. Even if hackers don't find sensitive data in the accounts, they can still use them to launch attacks on other systems or carry out malicious activities.
For instance, in business email compromise (BEC) scams, hackers send emails to employees asking for confidential information or money under the guise of being a legitimate request from corporate leadership. As such, it is crucial to have strong authentication methods in place for corporate accounts and to ensure that employees understand the dangers of phishing and other social engineering scams. Security awareness training can help employees spot potential threats and take the proper steps to safeguard their accounts.
Intellectual property (IP)
Trade secrets, patented technology, copyrighted materials, and other forms of IP are highly coveted by hackers, as these can be sold for a profit on the black market. Hackers may also use IP to create counterfeit goods or sell them without permission, resulting in profit losses for the company.
When it comes to protecting your IP, the first step is to make sure that it is properly secured and encrypted. Limit access to these types of data only to authorized personnel and keep them separate from other company data. Additionally, it's a good idea to use digital rights management (DRM) software that can help secure your IP from unauthorized copying or distribution.
Aside from targeting data and accounts, hackers also frequently look for digital infrastructure that they can use to store their own data and applications. Servers and storage devices are expensive to build and maintain, so hackers may opt to take control of someone else's infrastructure instead. This gives them access to greater computing power and storage capacity, which they can then use to launch malicious attacks or store stolen data.
To protect your digital infrastructure from unauthorized access, implement robust security measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, secure authentication protocols, and regular patching and updating of your software and systems. A multilayered defense system is the best way to safeguard your infrastructure from malicious actors.
In some cases, hackers target businesses to disrupt their operations or extort money from them. A common tactic is to gain access to the company's network through security vulnerabilities and then launch a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. This causes the network to become overloaded with requests, resulting in slow performance and outages. Another way hackers target a network is by using malware or ransomware to encrypt files and demand ransom payments.
To prevent your business from falling victim to such attacks, make sure that all systems and devices on the network are properly configured and have the latest security patches. It also helps to regularly monitor the network for suspicious activity and to deploy antivirus software to detect and remove malicious programs. Finally, having an incident response plan in place is essential for quickly and effectively addressing any security breaches.
Understanding the different types of business assets that hackers look for is the first step toward protecting your company from cyberattacks. By taking measures to secure data, accounts, and infrastructure, you can create a strong defense system that will help protect your business from malicious actors.
Our team of experts at outsourceIT can help keep your business assets safe from hackers. Get in touch with us to learn more about our IT security services.