Data Manipulation Attacks And How To Counter Them

Liza Brooke

The major threat of cyber crime has spread all over the United States, including both public and private sectors. Cybersecurity experts are always warning that hackers and bad actors plan to manipulate all major fields. Indeed, data manipulation attacks will target financial, healthcare, and government data. However, the worst part is that the leading industries are highly vulnerable to such attacks.

These data manipulation attacks are intended to steal personal, health, education, and financial records. In addition to that, they aim to swipe the valuable equities of major defense, technology, and production companies. Senior officials of the U.S. government also warned against such attacks and which they emphasize in cybersecurity legislation.

Examples Of Data Manipulation Attacks

To understand it better, consider a theoretical example of the stock market. Imagine an attacker succeeds in breaching the IT system and performs a data manipulation attack of any company. Additionally, imagine the company is a major play like Amazon or Uber. It would cause immediate panic in the stock market. As a result, people will start selling their shares in a rush, which will produce losses to these companies and shareholders.

“Not long ago, cyber-attacks by data manipulation [attacks] were the most discussed topic with its various aspects. These attacks were transforming with use of numerous techniques,” says John Martin, head of research department at CrowdWriter. Indeed, attacks have evolved past malware encrypting data on a local system. Lately, a cyber-attack called “WannaCry” was causing destruction to other systems by infecting them. This has caused more responses to cyber-attacks rather than restoration of data from backups. This will increase the number of vendors.

Who Attacks & What Is Their Purpose

A successful data manipulation attack can cause significant damage to any business, organization, or government department. After all, it will not only affect the bottom line, but also the company’s standing. In addition, a company’s consumer trust is broken after an attack. The purpose of these attacks is to disrupt three aspects of an organization: financial, reputational, and legal.

Usually, these attacks are done by professional hackers who hope to make money by manipulating finance records. In some cases, the attack was an insider threat, an act of revenge from a scorned employee who didn’t get promoted. The case of Tesla Motors and its former employee is one such example. This asserts a serious approach by all the major industries to determine ways to remain vigilant against cyber-attacks.

Ways To Counter Data Manipulation Attacks

1.     Integrity-checking

The first way to counter data manipulation attacks is to check integrity of the data on respective systems. In fact, the majority of large companies use either hashing or integrity checking. As a result, this assures that no error occurs during the restoration of data. “With all the modern security features, backups are considered as an effective tool of protecting data from manipulation,” suggests manager of IT department at Premium Jacket.

It may happen that an error occurs while implementing the data storage or during the data restoration process. However, in such cases, they implement integrity checks to fix the issue.

2.     FIM (file integrity monitoring)

Another feature of the FIM system is that it can issue alerts when data manipulation occurs Additionally, this feature gives the FIM system an edge, since the backup system does not send alerts. Besides, the FIM system can also determine what data was manipulated.

3.     Endpoint visibility

There is another approach to counter data manipulation attacks. In this approach, the consumer is assured by the company on risk that their IT systems have endpoint visibility. For instance, imagine an attacker succeeded to access the network. As a result, the company needs to move sideways over the environment to search for vulnerable data.

Threat hunters and incident respondents must chase the forensic footsteps. Indeed, it is their job to quest and encounter such invasion before any data damage or manipulation occurs.

4.     Logging activity

The approach of logging activity can also provide security against data manipulation attacks. However, they are not highly effective. Therefore IT team must design the internal supervision to verify the information. They need to continually monitor the prioritized logs.

5.     Implementing encryption

As implementing encryption is associated with an integrity check, enforcing encryption to secure the confidential data can also engender integrity checks. Companies do not widely use this method But companies must properly consider it as a way to counter data manipulation attacks.

This is a massive hardship, borne as a direct result of such attacks. Of the company has no means to confirm the integrity of the data, it will lead to re-validation of the entire data. In other cases, it will cause labor-intensive steps, which recreate data.

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