Skip Navigation

What are Some of the Ways Data Can Be Exfiltrated from Your Organization?

How Data is Exfiltrated from Organizations

To protect your data and prevent it from being exfiltrated, you need to understand the channels people will use to exfiltrate it in the first place.

At every organization, but especially those with valuable or sensitive data, the risk of data exfiltration is a constant threat that needs to be addressed carefully. We’ve seen recently that even at the highest levels, the federal government isn’t immune to hacking or the effects of a social engineering attack. Threats from both within and outside your organization can and will target your data, so it’s critical to understand what they’re looking for and how to defend against the exfiltration of this data. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common ways that data is exfiltrated from an organization.


Databases are the most vulnerable IT assets an organization can have, and it’s not hard to see why. If an insider or a hacker gains access to a database, they could scour it to find some of the most valuable information being held by your organization. Most privileged users work with at least one database every day, and these users will be the prime targets of social engineering attacks. In addition, because of their level of access, they can wreak significant havoc on your systems as insider threats themselves. It’s critical to have a plan for protecting your databases. User activity and data tracking, regular audits of access rights – these practices help your security team detect unusual activity and investigate before it turns into a potentially calamitous incident.

Cloud Computing

More and more organizations are turning to cloud computing solutions especially as the workspace has shifted to the home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Email, storage, applications – these tools are critical to the way we conduct business. However, sensitive data often travels via these channels and misuse and mistakes can happen. This makes cloud tools particularly effective for the exfiltration of data. To combat this, insider risk management teams need to double down on training employees and providing information on the security best practices when using these tools. Awareness can go a long way in protecting your organization.

Removable Media

While USB drives and CD-RWs have become somewhat obsolete owing to the growth of cloud storage, they are still in use at some organizations and need to be accounted for in your overall security plan. The USB drive in particular is one of the most common ways data is exfiltrated, whether the company bans their usage or not. Some organizations place hard locks on USB ports in company computers and direct users to cloud storage options which are more secure.

Learn More Advanced Tips and Strategies to Manage Insider Risk at ITMG’s Advanced Solutions Seminar

ITMG’s upcoming Advanced Solutions Seminar is designed to teach cybersecurity professionals how to achieve organizational security with our proven model to manage insider risk, the RiskTKO model. Reserve your spot today by visiting our training page here!

Contact ITMG to Assess Your Current Capabilities and Develop Strategies and Protocols Designed to Help Your Company Mitigate Your Insider Risk

ITMG is an industry leader in helping organizations throughout the United States strengthen their insider risk management programs and secure sensitive data and intellectual property. Our team of bona fide experts has the real-world experience necessary to plan out and create holistic security solutions tailored to the special needs and risks in your industry. Contact ITMG today to learn more about how we can help! You can also visit our FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn pages for more updates and insights into the world of insider risk management.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 8th, 2021 at 9:34 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.