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Detect and Prevent Data Exfiltration with Splunk

Data exfiltration is often indicated as data exportation, data extrusion or stealing of data. It is generally described with a process in which data’s unauthorized transfer takes place from one computer to another device.

Although data exfiltration is manually led by a personality with substantial access to a system, besides it can also be a process of automated conduction through malevolent programming on a system.


In simple words, data exfiltration is a breach of security that occurs when an individual’s or company’s data is retrieved, copied, or transferred from a server or computer with no authorization.

Exfiltrated data is done using diverse techniques, but it’s most usually executed by cybercriminals over a network or the Internet. Data Exfiltration these days is a significant issue that is faced by abundant organizations.

However, it has been believed that there is no permanent solution to this particular crisis. Still, the Splunk tool stands as the best data exfiltration indicator that proved this theory wrong.

How To Prevent Data Exfiltration?

Data exfiltration usually relies on social technology to access protected business networking. Therefore, companies should adopt some proactive preventive action to prevent their users from downloading relatively unknown or highly suspicious applications.

Nonetheless, the installation of all these harmful entries, in reality, is very problematic to block without limiting user access applications effectively.

Therefore, malware must be proficient at corresponding to a control system to effectively collect commands or exfiltrate details. For this, people are trusting Splunk’s tool to avoid data exfiltration.

Splunk preventive measure of Exfiltration

  • There are several ways to detect data exfiltration with Splunk for protection. In this scenario, Splunk Enterprise Security (ES) and Splunk Software for Stream are used. Splunk Enterprise Security delivers safety-specific dashboards reports and notable events to analyze attacks.
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Through Splunk, you can analyze the results, identify incidents that you need to focus, and use the contextual information presented to investigate the issue. The Splunk Stream program tracks, analyze, and compare network wire data to track processes and transactions from end-to-end.

  • Including Outlook and Sendmail, Splunk DNS lookups log details and email servers. Wire data is essential to evaluate the screening process and to monitor the streaming wire data in real-time.


  • Install Splunk Enterprise version 6.3 or Security version 4.0 after Configuring out. Besides Stream on the same server as Splunk ES, Install the Splunk App. Afterward, on the source of the wire data, install and configure the Stream add-on. CIM (Common information model) data models for network resolution, network traffic, web, and email will require to be

How Splunk works?

Splunk Enterprise Security’s dashboards and panels are an excellent way to begin from, as they show the exfiltration behavior signs activity, such as:

  • A host sending excessive emails
  • Web uploads to non-corporate sites by users
  • Unapproved port activity
  • High-volume email activity to non-corporate domains
  • Excessive DNS queries

Splunk Enterprise Security is providing automated correlation queries that track abnormal activity suspicious behaviors across security realms to manage specific signs of Exfiltration. For investigations or to support in the investigation, notable events produced by a correlation search are often the ideal starting point that can be brought into use.

  1. Review the User Activity Dashboard


The dashboard of User Activity exhibit panels describing activities of the users that may signify the possibilities of data exfiltration. Key indicators’, a high volume or spike in the volume, such as Non-corporate Email Activity and Web Uploads can point out dubious data transfer.

You can also know about :  Splunk Enterprise Security Introduction

The dashboard shows a large number of suspicious activities, including data being posted to non-corporate domains and suspiciously large email messages sent to different addresses.

  1. Identify Suspicious Activities and Users


Splunk uses data exfiltration techniques, identifies the watch list of your organization, note down any unique usernames, and a large number of smaller messages or large email messages. The indication of all these suspicious actions can lead to possible data exfiltration.

If you uncover any suspicious activity, then you can create a notable event here, and for further investigation, you can hand it over to an analyst.

  1. Investigate the Email Activity Dashboard


The overview for the Email Process provides graphs for the email process, showing main email outlets through IP addresses and significant emails.

To find raise in email counts by IP address, you should use the Top Email Sources Table. Look for unknown emails, particularly those that send a lot of messages.


The User-friendly dashboard is used for monitoring the suspicious behavior of data exfiltration. The dashboard for Email Activity exposes large transfers of data to known and unknown domains.

With the Splunk App for Stream, network data from the internal hosts can be captured and filtered, and Splunk Enterprise Security can inform analysts about large data transfer systems.

Security analysts scan for common data acceleration actions with the dashboard and establish monitoring of devices that may be affected and require the necessary corrective action. You can conclude Splunk as one of the best data exfiltration detection tools.

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