One of the biggest reasons small and large businesses put so much care and effort into their cyber security is to prevent data breaches. Any stolen data can become a treasure trove of information for malicious actors, and in the worst circumstances, it can be a huge payday for them as well. In most cases, hackers will aim to acquire any information they can because it could give them more clues on how to launch further attacks on their target, but we want to highlight some of the most important pieces of information malicious actors will try to steal from any business they can.
Network and System Information
While a business’ network and cybersecurity information are stolen data that doesn’t usually make headlines, it can be absolutely devastating for a business. If malicious actors manage to steal information related to the hardware a company uses, the versions of software employees work with every day, or other software information, then they can launch pointed attacks. These attacks can specifically target weak spots in a business’ IT security and lead to more stolen data, making data protection harder.
In addition to this, system information for utility companies or related industries can cause widespread harm if malicious actors get their hands on that stolen data. Knowing how best to target a widely relied on service can impact communities and a large number of businesses, and malicious actors can acquire this data from the utility company itself or contractors working with them.
Personally Identifying Information (PII)
The kind of stolen data that does often make headlines is when a data breach compromises the PII of a business’ customers. When consumers sign up for a service or purchase a product, they expect their information to be protected and used for only its needed purpose. When a hacker steals the PII in your business records, those customers become targets for malicious actors to go after. While high value PII such as social security or credit card numbers are an obvious risk, malicious actors can use full names, birthdays, phone numbers, and other common information to identify and target individuals within the stolen data.
Stolen Data Leaks Client Information
The most critical data that a malicious actor can steal is any information given to your business by a client. Having the network information or PII of a client stolen means not only have people been put at a higher risk of a malicious actor targeting them, but your business will lose that client’s trust in your ability to keep their information secure. On top of this, future clients that learn about this data breach may become more hesitant to work with your business.
It cannot be emphasized enough that having a client’s information stolen is a catastrophic event and can even close a business’ doors overnight. Any stolen data is unacceptable because something that seems unimportant or common knowledge could lead to further attacks down the road for businesses or individuals. Your IT environment must do everything it can do prevent proprietary and client information from getting stolen.
Employing workers and having clients trust your business with information is a part of doing business that should be treated with the utmost care possible. System details, PII, and client information are just a few critical examples of stolen data that hackers are after, but they highlight the importance of protecting against data breaches. If your business needs IT consulting or solutions to improve your cyber security, then Robinett Consulting wants to help. We pride ourselves on securing our partner’s IT environment and preventing crucial data from becoming stolen data.