What Are Cyber Thieves After Anyway?

You don't have to be a security expert to know that hackers are bad news. They wreak havoc on business networks, steal customer information, and spread malware to our devices. That much is true. But it does help to understand what cyber thieves are after and why.

In most cases, these folks aren't just out to cause harm. There is usually some greater purpose to what they are doing. And by realizing what that is, companies can do more to protect themselves.

Speaking of protection, did you know that cyber theft insurance can defend your business against financial losses due to cyberattack? It's the perfect safety net for any business that operates online.

What're You After, Punk?

In some ways, cyber thieves are after the same thing as other thieves. All they want is money. These are the kinds of hackers that look to breach your customer records. The goal is to take these stolen caches of personal and financial information to sell on the dark web. This opens up your customers to fraud and identity theft.

Sure, that sounds pretty bad, but it's actually worse for healthcare organizations. Medical practices are seeing some of the highest rates of cyberattacks. Patient information sells for a pretty penny on the dark web compared to stolen credit cards. That's because Social Security numbers and dates of birth do not expire and cannot be canceled.

Another technique is to pry financial information directly out of a business. This might happen through a social engineering scam. The hacker reaches out to your company posing as a business partner, financial institution, or perhaps even a coworker. They might beguile their target into sharing banking information with them, which they then use to pilfer money from your organization.

Then again, there are other crooks seeking compromising information. This generally occurs through spear phishing emails directed at your highest-ranking employees. The goal is to swipe someone's sign-in credentials and expose their emails to the public. This can result in reputational damage, loss of proprietary information, or even exploitation (blackmail). The 2014 Sony Picture hack and 2016 hacking of John Podesta are perfect examples.

Fighting Back

So, how can you fight back against these cyber thieves? Well, now that you know what they want it should be a little easier.

If hackers are after your customer or patient data, you'll need to do more to hide this information. That means investing in an encrypted cloud or messenger. Encryption protects sensitive information with a series of 'keys.' These keys are only unlockable by the proper senders and intended recipient; thereby eliminating the threat of theft.

Of course, to ensure this process is working you'll need to employ better passwords. It won't do you much good to encrypt your communications if your sign-in credentials are '123Guest.'

This leads to our next tip: Protect your sign-in credentials. Hackers who can't break into your data stores, intercept your messages, or crack your passwords will have to steal your login. Keep a keen eye out for phishing emails and social engineering scams, or else your whole strategy is for naught.

Are you ready to fight back against cybercrime? Then invest in cyber theft insurance from CyberPolicy. We can help defend you in the event of a data breach. Click here to learn more.

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