Data security lapses can and do lead to data breaches. Depending on what happens to the stolen information, the damage can be severe to such a degree that the victimized company may be forced out of business. Victimized businesses may face customer lawsuits, fines, increased insurance rates, and loss of their loyal customer base. A damaged reputation that’s spread throughout the Internet makes new customer acquisition increasingly difficult.
While there are plenty of reasons for this kind of criminal activity, profit is often the motivation. How money is made from a breach depends on the information stolen and the particular “skill set” of the hacker. Here are two ways criminals can profit:
Sell Data on the Information Black Market
Hackers aren’t necessarily skilled at profiting from their stolen information. Not all valuable data is in the form of usernames and passwords to bank accounts — which are straightforward to exploit. Other types of data require criminals with specialized knowledge and expertise. Information black markets exist to bring together the hackers skilled at acquiring information, with criminals who know how to use the information. This may happen within private forums or at auction sites similar to eBay. Because your information falls into the hands of those best suited to exploit it, the damage to your business can be severe.
Business Identity Theft
Criminals with access to the right business data of your company can pose as you and open lines of credit, access bank accounts, and do business with your customers. Customers thinking they’re doing business with you, might place an order with the criminal with an up-front payment. When the goods aren’t delivered, you will hear about it from the angry customer.
Criminals can also steal goods worth hundreds of thousands of dollars by posing as a legit trucking company. They need only gain access to information about the trucking carrier’s future shipments. With this information, they can send their own truck to pick up a load before the legit truck arrives.
Data security vigilance is the key to avoiding these kinds of consequences. Remember that there are many ways your data can be stolen, including from improperly disposed hard disks. To learn more about data security and about our hard drive destruction equipment, contact us today.