Data Exfiltration

Data exfiltration refers to the unauthorized transfer of data from a system. It falls under data breaching and is among the most recurrent results of cyberattacks. Cybercriminals can extract vital data from their victims using various tools and techniques, such as ransomware, malware, and social engineering.

It can be legal if done for the right reasons, like a simple data transfer by an employee who may have forgotten to seek authorization. As long as they have no malicious intent, then there is no problem.

Examples of data exfiltration 

  • eBay: In 2014, through compromised employee login credentials, cybercriminals were able to access eBay’s corporate network, stealing sensitive information to the tune of 145 million users.
  • FDIC: In 2016, an employee of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) downloaded thousands of customer data to a personal storage device by mistake when they were leaving the organization.
  • British Airways: In 2018, cybercriminals installed malicious code on the British Airways website and stole over 400,000 customers’ private data.

How to stop data exfiltration

  • Reduce access: Ensure that the amount of people with direct access to your sensitive data is limited to just a few insiders. This will help pinpoint who exactly would be responsible for a leak. 
  • Limit the number of endpoints: With the help of a “Bring Your Device: rule, you can reduce the number of endpoints for cybercriminals to exploit. 
  • Data encryption: With the use of reputable and premium encryption tools to encrypt any backed-up data. This way, even if it is stolen, it will be unreadable.
  • Utilise cybersecurity software: Cybersecurity softwares like VPNs and antimalware softwares, can reduce and block cyberattacks on your network.