Data exfiltration warning as extortion techniques evolve

Cyber risk remains a persistent threat to organisations with no appreciable change in incidence, but a new sophistication in threat actors’ approach is emerging, according to a new report by Beazley.

The inaugural Beazley Cyber Services Snapshot covers the growing issue of data exfiltration, and explores the myriad ways that extortion is evolving and becoming more intricate. It says threat actors are finding new ways to do business, resulting in double- and even triple-extortion, and as extortion techniques become increasingly complex, so do the risk exposures.

The report features data gathered between 2020 and Q1 of 2022, including cause of loss by industry, ransomware vectors, business email compromise, and data exfiltration. Beazley says these key data points illustrate a continued need for a multi-pronged approach to cyber security.

Raf Sanchez, Beazley’s global head of cyber services, said: “Extortion incidents no longer just involves file encryption. We are seeing data exfiltration now prevalent in a significant majority of incidents reported to our cyber services team. Multiple threat actors are involved, and they are encrypting systems, stealing and selling data they’ve accessed, and also threatening to expose the fact that an organisation’s data was stolen unless payment is provided.

“This is an increasingly complex landscape and it’s essential that organisations understand the threats and resulting vulnerabilities of these new threat vectors.”

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