A Look at Why Data is Valuable
Very often, it can seem like cybercrime is merely the online, virtualversion of the crime that has always existed and with which we have always been familiar. However, thinking about cybercrime in this way can be a mistake. Many of the motives are the same, but some are new and of an order we have never seen before.
Nevertheless, by considering traditional criminal motiveswe can indeed get close to the nature of cybercrime. Certainly, financial gain is often the reason why cybercriminals exist. It isalso worth noting though that cybercrime has brought with it new kinds of criminal motives.
www.hillstonenet.com, experts in cyber security installations for servers and SD-WAN networks, say that many of today’s hackers hack simply because they can or because they see beating certain security installations as a challenge. To be a criminal in the real world involves all kinds of risks and a commitment to a very serious kind of life. Hackers are very often educated computer geeks who, quite literally, do it just for fun.
When we think about how to protect our servers and networks from cybercrime, we need to consider the online equivalent of the loot they are after.This is data. Cyber criminals rarely steal anything besides data, but seeing as data is the life blood of businesses it is easy to see how the right data can be as valuable to cybercriminals as a bar of gold bullion is to a traditional criminal. More specifically though, what actually is it about data that is so valuable?
One way to see how data is valuable is to think about the concept of access. Very often, the data stolen is not valuable in itselfbut provides access to another network or computer system from where more directly valuable data can be stolen.
The classic example here is passwords and login details. The bank details of client or customer are valuable for obvious reasons.This is the data that can be directly translated into financial gain. We can think of the theft of access clearance to a file server as a sort of first step theft on the way top making the criminal some real money.
To Be Sold
Have you ever considered how Facebook and other social media sites make their money when the service is free to use? It is your data of course, specifically the data pertaining to a location you occupy on the web (your Facebook feed) and data relating to your habits which allow the right type of marketing to be targeted at you. Facebook collects this legally; cybercriminals are out to steal it.
A massive data haul can actually – once virtually “laundered” – be dishonestly sold on to legitimate companies who make use of it for marketing. Hacking an e-mail server and gaining access to a load of email addresses (especially those of a customer set who can be considered a discrete target market for certain products) provides the cyber-criminal with a valuable product to sell on.
To Be Used
Data is essential to the daily functioning of a business, especially when it organized properly. Data can generate a lot of revenue, andsometimesthe criminals want to start using that data in the same way that the business was using it before it was stolen. This also accounts for the value of data and the criminal interest in it.
Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that data is exceptionally valuable these days. Criminals want it, and businesses pay millions in cybersecurity installations every year to stop them getting it.