What’s your data exfiltration strategy? If you don’t have one, the good news is you’re not alone. When it comes to preventing cyberattacks many organizations are still focused on protecting the perimeter to keep the bad actors out.  The bad news is that no matter how protected you think your network is, the reality is that attackers are finding their way in, with ease in many cases.

Getting into the network is one of the easiest parts of a cyberattack. It requires one successful email, social engineering, malvertising or a clever phishing campaign targeted at your weakest link – your employees.

Existing technology is ineffective

The unfortunate reality for many organizations is that cybercriminals are already in, and they probably have been for days, weeks or even months, lurking in the network and waiting for the right time to launch an attack. This is a very real threat, as evidenced by the SolarWinds Orion attack which managed to remain undetected for 9 months, even with the latest security software in place. This particular attack raises questions around the effectiveness of the technologies so many rely on to protect their IT infrastructure, and has been described by cybersecurity experts as a wake-up call for the industry.

As the famous quote goes, “one thing’s for sure, if we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting. One definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.” And in the case of cybersecurity today, that couldn’t be more true, especially as we continue to see some of the largest companies in the world held to ransom by attackers who threaten to leak their exfiltrated data post attack.

Data exfiltration strategy

Preventing modern attacks requires a new way of thinking and a new approach. By making the assumption that the bad actors are going to get in regardless of perimeter defense tactics, we can focus less on how they get in and how long they dwell, and more on what data they may be trying to steal.

It’s important to note that an attack is only successful if unauthorized data is stolen or removed from a device or network, infiltrating a network or a device in and of itself does not make a successful cyberattack. This is where the data exfiltration strategy comes in. If your organization has a data exfiltration solution, it really doesn’t matter how they got in or how long they dwelled, their attack on your network won’t be a success if they are unable to exfiltrate your data.  Simply put, no data exfiltration = no successful cyberattacks, no ransoms and no data breaches!

Because modern attacks are predicated on the ability to communicate with third party servers to steal data, preventing attacks today requires a data exfiltration prevention solution that monitors, detects and blocks the unauthorized transmission of data in real-time. Make sure you have a data exfiltration strategy in place before a data breach becomes a reality.