Today’s online culture means that at any point in time your data could be floating around online without you realizing it. Behind the scenes, data brokers are constantly buying and selling information related to business data, some of it gathered legitimately, and some of it stolen.

Do you know how much of your business data is online and accessible?

Part of any strong IT security plan for a Tucson business needs to include management and control of data and how it’s shared and stored.

Not all confidential data shows up on the Dark Web for sale to the highest bidder because of a major data breach. Sometimes, employees can make mistakes in how data is handled, not realizing they’re exposing it to the world at large online.

For example, in 2019 over 540 million Facebook user records were exposed online accidentally due to the mistake of third-party Facebook app developers.

How Does Business Data Get Exposed?

Business data can be exposed, stolen, or leaked in a number of ways, which adds to the problem of trying to control the data available online to hackers and how it’s used.

Here are some of the most common ways that data you may not want shared can end up in the wrong hands.

Uploading to a Web Server

An innocent mistake that many companies make is to use their web server to share files. They may want to make meeting notes or a list of their project team contacts easily accessible, so they use FTP to add it to a web server so they can send a hyperlink out in an email.

This is also done when needing to share large files that are too big to email. People don’t think there’s any chance someone can find such an obscure file in a Google search.

The problem is that once you’ve uploaded something to a web server without any restrictions, it can be found by a hacker and freely copied or downloaded. This includes meeting minutes, internal PPT presentations, internal contact lists, and more.

Data Breach

A data breach is one of the most visible ways that thousands of records can be instantly compromised. Hackers often look for databases of employees, customers, and other business information that can be of use to them and sold as a product on the Dark Web.

A bank statement with transactions can go for as much as $80 on the Dark Web.

Breaches can happen to cloud applications like Microsoft 365, on-premises servers and also to companies that you do business with. The data breach doesn’t have to happen to your company directly for your confidential data to be released online, it could occur with an accounting firm or vendor you use.

Oversharing On Your Website Or By Employees

Oversharing is a huge problem in today’s online environment. Many phishing attackers don’t have to go any farther than a company’s own “about us” page to gather the information they need for a targeted phishing attack.

Social sharing by employees can also be a problem especially through direct messaging. Someone posing as a customer on Facebook Messenger can easily trick an employee into revealing your bank account details or other company information.

Why You Need to Be Worried About Online Data

Business Identify Theft

Identity theft isn’t only perpetrated on individuals, business identity theft is also a growing type of online crime and it can be a lucrative one for hackers.

If a criminal has access to your basic company contact details as well as your Federal Tax ID number, they can pose as a representative of your company, opening credit cards, vendor credit accounts, and bank accounts in your name.

Targeted Attacks Against Your Customers

One of the most successful types of phishing is the type that is targeted and spoofs the email address of a familiar firm. When data related to your customers is leaked or stolen, it can make this type of attack simple for a criminal.

If a phishing attack targets your customers and uses your company’s domain in the “From” line, your customers are much more likely to trust the email and open it.

This can lead to your company being blamed for a successful phishing attack and losing business, even though you were also a victim.

Facilitates Future Attacks

Many hackers don’t steal information about a business to use themselves, they steal it to sell on the Dark Web. These sales are usually not one-to-one, they’re often one-to-many.

This means that data stolen which could facilitate a future attack or be used for identity theft against your business or your employees can be sold to multiple people, causing you to undergo a larger volume of attacks in the future.

Need Help With Data Protection Policies?

ECN IT Solutions can help your Tucson business put data use and protection policies in place to reduce the risk of sensitive data being leaked online.

We’re here and ready to talk data security with you! Reach out at 520-355-7553 or through our website.