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Detecting data exfiltration activities


When attackers are looking to identify and exfiltrate data from a target organization, they carry out attacks which contain three main activities: identification, collection, and staging data for exfiltration.

  • Identification includes scanning systems and observing user activity.
  • Collection includes the transfer of large amounts of data from various repositories.
  • Staging, or preparation, includes moving data to a central location and compressing it, also optionally encoding or encrypting it.

These searches allow you to detect and monitor suspicious behavior related to these activities.

How to use Splunk software for this use case

To deploy this use case, make sure that you have the Splunk ES Content Updates installed on your Splunk Enterprise Security deployment. This extensive content library empowers you to deploy out-of-the-box security detections and analytic stories to enhance your investigations and improve your security posture. If you do not have Splunk Enterprise Security, these detections will still give you an idea of what you can accomplish with SPL in the Splunk platform or with the free app, Splunk Security Essentials.

Some of the detections that can help you with this use case include:

Next steps

Splunk OnDemand Services: Use these credit-based services for direct access to Splunk technical consultants with a variety of technical services from a pre-defined catalog. Most customers have OnDemand Services per their license support plan. Engage the ODS team at if you require assistance.

In addition, these Splunk resources might help you understand and implement this use case: