Top Data Breach Causes
Do you show your password to anyone? Do you let a stranger get your credit card information illegally? Or, do you want the world to know personal details about your life? We are guessing that your answer is a big no. We feel the same. But cases of data breach are still increasing.
A data breach happens when sensitive or confidential information is stolen, taken without authorization or permission, disclosed unintentionally, or released willfully. It sounds alarming since the consequences can lead to identity theft and a number of problems to those who are affected. Understanding data breach can help lead to better security measures.
In this article, we are going to show you the top data breach causes that should be avoided or anticipated.
A computer bug is an anomaly, an error, a fault, or simply an oversight in a computer program or software. It may be done intentionally or unintentionally by a programmer, but the effects of a bug infiltrating a computer or software can be drastically threatening. These bugs, if left unaddressed, can cause a computer to malfunction or perform in ways that is not intended.
But computer bugs sound harmless! Lady bugs are harmless, but computer bugs? Not so much.
Computer bugs can pose a big threat to security. An example of harmful bugs is the Heartbleed bug. Bugs can cause data breach. These bugs are like a data attacker’s transport vessel to gain access to critical data. User information—personal, private, and public can be accesses by data hackers. Even something as important as encryption keys can be stolen by determined data hackers.
You might think that the email from your old college buddy was the worst since it had a screaming ghost pop out from your computer screen. Well, think again! If you receive a ransomware, a type of malware that spreads by attaching it in an email, you can undoubtedly still get a good scare because data breach through a ransomware is no joke.
Ransomware takes your data in hostage through encryption in exchange for money. Unfortunately, there is no assurance that your data will be decrypted once money is sent to the attacker.
There’s a saying that goes, “Make sure everybody in your “boat” is rowing and not drilling holes when you’re not looking.” This saying is applicable in data security in companies nowadays.
A business internal data breach being harmful to the company and its clients is a big understatement. It is easy to think of hackers as the number 1 culprit behind it, but they’re really just a part of the bigger picture.
Internal threats are characterized by company employees doing the damage. The internal threats escalate into internal data breach when:
- Disgruntled employees intentionally breach into the security of a company’s data.
- Employees abuse their prerogatives.
- Employees who have authorized access to protected date unknowingly leak information.
- Unintentional mistake of an employee such as accidentally sending sensitive information to a third party.
This is an obvious reason for a data breach, but employing low-level security measures in areas where it is highly needed is still practiced by some companies. Data encryption is pretty much considered as a basic security measure, but some companies are just— so chill. There are other different reasons behind having low-level security. These are the following:
Low Budget for Security – It can be frustrating when a company doesn’t put importance in shelling out expenses for security. Need staff training? No budget. Need new security updates? No budget. Need new security experts? No budget.
- When a company tries to cut down costs on security, this can be a disaster waiting to happen. Sure, having the best security measures put up to protect sensitive information can come at a high cost, but the consequences that follow after a data breach may put even the foundation of a company at risk.
- Out-of-date Security – Do you to download updates? We occasionally get that reminder on our personal computers. However, the difference between our personal computers that include an option to automatically download security updates, companies can (though we hope that they wouldn’t) forego updating their security measures. When this happens, it can leave precious data vulnerable to a breach. Constantly updating security solutions and auditing security controls can be taxing, but at least it’s going to be worth it.
- Hiring Incompetent IT Personnel – Once an IT professional is hired, some companies may think that they are already safe from data breach. It can be tempting to imagine that the IT staff can handle every possible need for technical support. However, this shouldn’t be the case since not all IT professionals are security experts. Some may have a good amount of IT experience but not all of them have the necessary skills and training for establishing better security measures.
Not all instances of a business data breach are caused by internal data attacks. Falling victim to a physical data intrusion is also a major cause of data or information breach. Here are two common kinds of physical threats:
- Physical Theft – Before cybercrimes ever existed, thieves were already committing crimes here and there. A laptop that contains sensitive information can be stolen. A mobile device that holds important data access can be stolen. A USB flash drive with confidential documents can be stolen. Any technological device can be stolen and once it falls into the wrong hands, you can expect a barrage of data breach attacks.
- Physical Loss or Misplacement – Accidents do happen and human memory is not as reliable as a computer. These two things are the two main factors why a computer or mobile device that contains confidential information can be lost. Companies don’t always have the lucky stars on their side, so when a data-bearing device is physically lost or misplaced, a data breach will be one major headache.
Preparation and anticipation against data attacks should not be neglected. It still pays to boost security measures to protect confidential and private information. An advanced technology is not always used with the best intentions and there will always be cybercriminals on the prowl. But if you work on proactive security measures against these top data breach causes, then chances are, you can definitely put up a fight!