Data exfiltration

Data exfiltration, also known as data theft exportation, or extrusion, involves a cyber attacker stealing data from a computer or system.

Protecting your systems against data exfiltration has always been crucial, but the topic gained even more interest with the rise of AI tools. These tools introduce a new set of challenges for companies, as data theft methods become more and more sophisticated and harder to detect.

Don’t confuse exfiltration with data leakage and data breach. A leakage will be an unintentional exposure of sensitive data, that may be due to a procedural error or a vulnerability in the system.

A data breach refers to any type of security incident that results in the unauthorized access of data.

Data exfiltration can result from both a leakage or a breach, but not all data leakages or breaches will result in exfiltration.

For instance, someone might take advantage of a data leakage and encrypt part of the data to use as ransom. The intention is not to steal the data itself, but only to get money or another ransom in return for the encrypted data.

Data exfiltration can have serious consequences for your company, such as,

➡ Compromised trade secrets

➡Loss of reputation and customer trust

➡A disruption in your operations that will in turn lead to financial loss

➡Regulatory fines.

The stolen data makes your systems even more vulnerable, so the chances of experiencing cyber attacks increase exponentially.

Luckily, protecting yourself against these attacks is not impossible. Over the next few weeks, we’ll discuss the most common data exfiltration attacks, how to recognize them, and how to protect your systems against them.

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