If you are a small-business owner, you need to be aware of the signs that your business cloud may have been hacked. Hacks can occur in a number of ways, and they often go undetected for long periods of time. By knowing what to keep an eye out for, you can catch a hacking incident in its early stages and prevent any major damage.
Here are five signs that your cloud may have been compromised.
Unusual outbound network traffic and unfamiliar destinations
If you notice that your business’s network traffic is suddenly higher than usual, or that there are unfamiliar traffic destinations, it is possible that your cloud has been hacked. Hackers sometimes use a business’s network to send out spam or phishing emails or carry out other malicious activities, so increased traffic can be a sign that something is amiss. Regularly monitoring your network traffic will help catch this type of activity early.
Irregular admin or privileged user activity
Accounts with administrative privileges are the closest to the inner workings of your company’s cloud, so any irregular activity from these accounts is a cause for concern. Hackers will often try to gain access to admin and privileged user accounts in order to obtain a higher level of access to your business data. Having a monitoring system in place to track activity on these accounts can help you spot suspicious behavior and allow you to suspend access before your network gets compromised.
Strange login behaviors
Hackers typically use automated tools to brute-force their way into user accounts. They may also use virtual private networks or VPNs to mask their true location. So if you see a sudden increase in failed login attempts from various IP addresses or users logging in from strange locations or at odd hours, you've most likely been hacked.
If you see any suspicious login behavior, be sure to investigate and take steps to secure your accounts. These include using strong passwords, enabling two-factor or multifactor authentication, and limiting user login attempts.
Suspicious data requests
Another common sign of a hack is when users start making strange data requests. For example, a user may start requesting access to data that they normally wouldn’t need for work, or a user may start downloading large amounts of data all at once. These types of requests are often made by hackers trying to steal data from their victims.
If you notice any uncharacteristic or bulk data requests or permission changes, be sure to investigate them immediately. You may need to disable access for the user in question or take other steps to secure your data.
Signs that mass exfiltration of data is about to commence
Hackers will often try to cover their tracks by deleting logs or other evidence of their activity. However, in some cases, they may inadvertently leave behind signs that they are about to exfiltrate data. For example, you may notice a spike in network traffic, file-read requests, or database queries.
It is important that you set thresholds for normal activity and be on the lookout for anything that exceeds those thresholds. Also, implementing shutdown protocols for when data exfiltration is detected can prevent hackers from succeeding in their efforts.
Ultimately, proactive security and constant monitoring of your cloud are critical in catching the early signs of a hack and mitigating damage.
For more information on how to secure your business’s cloud environment, contact outsourceIT today. Our team of experts can help you implement the latest cloud security measures to keep your data safe.