When you wake up in the morning and read about yet another major data breach that has struck some giant corporation, it’s easy to assume the worst in terms of the motives of the hackers behind it all. But the truth is, while the techniques used to infiltrate computer systems across the globe are becoming more sophisticated by the day, the reasoning behind those attacks couldn’t be more straightforward.
Hacks usually don’t have anything to do with rogue foreign governments or cyber espionage. Usually, these hacks occur due to just three straightforward reasons, all of which are certainly worth a closer look.
Credit Card Information
One of the major reasons why hackers hack is also, thankfully, one of the more straightforward. They’re looking for monetary gain and to get there, they’ll try to steal your credit card information more often than not.
Note that this information can include but is certainly not limited to things like your CVV and billing address, all of which they can make use of for online transactions.
Even if they only get a few hundred dollars worth of charges off before you shut your card down, that’s still not bad for a day’s work – and one where they probably didn’t have to leave their computer chair, too.
Another major reason why hackers do what they do involves the hunt for login information – think the types of user names and passwords that they can use to both access and take over some of the resources at the heart of your organization.
Once inside your infrastructure, they can take servers and other equipment offline and cause a significant amount of disruption and chaos, something that hackers tend to love across the board. They could even find classified information to leak or extort, thus accomplishing their quest for monetary gain, too.
Hackers love your employees and customers who use passwords in multiple accounts, from desktop to PC to Fitbit to bank account. They will retry any login information they find hoping to open an account that scores money.
A Staging Ground
Finally, hackers may infiltrate your network not necessarily to do YOU harm, but to use your resources as a way to attack other people.
The biggest commodity that you have with a client, for example, is trust – that’s something that all the hacking in the world can’t create out of thin air. A phishing email from a totally random source is likely to get deleted almost instantly. But if that phishing email sent to a client comes from one of your own employees, suddenly that attack is far more likely to succeed – thus hurting your client AND damaging your trust and reputation at the exact same time.
In the End
Ultimately, the techniques that hackers use may be sophisticated, but the reasoning behind those actions couldn’t be more straightforward. Therefore, the best approach to fighting cyber criminals is the same basic one you would use in a situation like retail theft. You don’t have to have what is objectively the strongest defense anyone has ever seen.
You just have to be a little stronger than the next guy.
Criminals are the same everywhere. They’ll go for the easy target 99.999% of the time. Therefore, your approach to cyber security just has to involve wasting as much of a hacker’s time as possible. Once they’re forced to put forward more than the bare minimum amount of effort, they WILL go elsewhere. At that point, they’re someone else’s problem, and you can get back to running your business.
If nothing else, 2020 is an excellent opportunity to confirm that your business’ approach to cyber security is every bit as robust and forward-thinking as the people out there who may wish to do you harm. If you’re ready to stop being scared of hackers and start taking action, click here to schedule your free 30 minute phone consultation with either myself or one of our experts today.