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Cyber Security

When you think of cybercrime in a corporate setting, a large-scale incident comes to mind almost automatically, where a lot was stolen, and a lot was lost. A cybercrime is where a criminal uses digital technology to commit an offence. It can be anything from identity theft to a strategically orchestrated cyberattack. Cyberattacks can come in many forms such as phishing, distributed denial-of-service (DDOD) attacks, social engineering and identity theft. 

 Cybercrimes where a lot of data is stolen and a large amount of money is lost are unfortunately very common these days. But did you know stealing data is not the only way that cybercriminals can cause harm to an organisation? There’s another method called data manipulation that has witnessed a significant surge in recent years. Data manipulation doesn’t involve the outright theft of sensitive data, rather it is instead an attack with a slow-burning nature. Instead of stealing data, the attacker modifies a database to further an illicit gain. 

 To understand data manipulation in cybersecurity a little better, let’s take a look at an example. Imagine a hacker gaining access to an IT system or database that is responsible for controlling the stock ticker symbol and then manipulating the data to show a tech giant such as Apple, Amazon or Tesla taking a sudden and steep downward plunge. You can only imagine the chaos and panic that would follow.  

 Direct financial gain is not always the motivation behind a cyberattack using data manipulation. For example, a cybercriminal could alter medical records, like prescription or medicine doses that could ultimately result in death. Additionally, an attacker could slightly modify the design of a manufacturing facility to set a company up for a major failure. 

 Since the results of a cyberattack using data manipulation aren’t always immediately apparent, the damage can continue for a long-time before it is detected. For these types of cybercrimes, the cybercriminal only has to make a tiny, almost unnoticeable, alteration such as a single digit change in a bank routing number or a small change in a credit score and it would take months to recognise. By then, the fraudster will have most likely disappeared, leaving few traces left behind. 

Are Data Manipulation Cyberattacks Common?  

Data-theft cyberattacks are more common than data manipulation cyberattacks but that does not mean that you should take them lightly. In 2018, the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, took legal action against one of his employees who allegedly stole critical company data and manipulated it under a false username because of a denied promotion, as per Threatpost. This is not the only time that a data manipulation cyberattack has made headlines. According to Ars Technica, in 2016, a group of cybercriminals stole and made public data from the World Anti-Doping Agency. The data entailed the medical information of many athletes and it was later revealed that the data had been altered before its release to target athletes participating in the 2016 Olympic games.  

How To Prevent And Defend Against Data Manipulation Cyberattacks?

A data manipulation attack is a cyberattack and like all other kinds of cyberattacks, the most important thing that you can do to prevent it is to apply a comprehensive and multi-layered security structure. Data manipulation requires the attacker to infiltrate the IT infrastructure of a company; without entering it, there’s no way for them to modify it. So, the first point of action is to ensure that all response specialists have endpoint visibility on their monitoring systems so that they are immediately notified when their IT system has been penetrated by an unauthorised party. The said unauthorised party would have to move systematically through the infrastructure to get their hands on the data they are after. The threat responders should follow their footsteps and block their access at the earliest point possible. 

Integrity-checking is another way to defend against data manipulation attacks. Data integrity refers to the maintenance and assurance of data accuracy. For example, you can install a software program that can do quick integrity checks on your data to detect potential threats. Another method is 256-bit military-grade encryption. With solid encryption in place, it becomes harder for the attacker to decipher the data, let alone manipulate it. 

As cybercrime has evolved, so has cybersecurity. There are many ways for you to effectively and proactively protect your data, but you may not be aware of all of them. This is because cybersecurity is a highly skill-based industry that requires experience and knowledge. For a person with little experience, the task of protecting an IT infrastructure might seem very overwhelming, which may result in many crucial points being missed. We believe that a long-term solution to cyberattacks can be found by hiring experienced professionals that can blend human intelligence and cyber expertise with advanced machine learning algorithms to provide dependable cyber protection. 

Conclusion 

Today, digital assets are both more important and vulnerable than ever. The growing diversity and complexity of cybercrimes show that a unidirectional approach to protecting data is not enough. In order to stay protected, a proactive and consistent approach is needed. 

At Gemraj Technologies Ltd, we offer top-class cybersecurity solutions. We have helped a large number of prominent clients secure their company and conduct business safely. We believe cybersecurity should be the enabler of progress rather than a hurdle to it. Our qualified and skilled cybersecurity professionals are highly sensitive to ensuring that our cybersecurity protections do not interfere with the agility and productivity of your business, while at the same time being able to effectively and efficiently protect your business. Our approach to cybersecurity is systematic and all-inclusive, we help you assess your digital resilience, identify crucial assets for prioritised protection and train cybersecurity capabilities into your organisation. 

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