Data Breaches: Everything One Needs to Know About

Learning About Data Breaches: What, How and Types

Every day, over 6 million data breaches records are compromised every day, making no organization or industry fully secured against the breaches. Due to the vast data that is now present online, business organizations are forced to encounter an array of data breaches.

This makes it every organization to follow the ‘know and understand your enemy’ rule to counter these data breaches. Over time, data breaches have emerged in different forms and sizes. However, all these incidents might not be influenced due to any sophisticated cyberattack.

Data Breaches – What Are They?

A data breach is defined as a specified event that involves gaining access to and disclosing sensitive, confidential, or any other protected data through harmful practices.

Data security breaches often comprise personal health information, personally identifiable information, or the intellectual property of an organization or individual. The files gained from a data breach are viewed and shared without the permission of the authenticated user.

How Data Breaches Occur?

Data security breaches are not necessary that it might be carried out by an outside hacker; they might even be some form of intentional attacks. Data security breaches can also be a consequence of a simple overlooking by individuals or the presence of any flaws present in the company’s existing infrastructure.

In any business, data breaches can also occur due to:

Accidental Insiders

A typical example of this type of data breach can be when an employee uses the system of his co-worker and reads his file without having the due permissions for it. The access gained is entirely unintentional and, in this case, no information is shared. It is still considered being a breach since unauthorized personnel viewed the data.

Malicious Insiders

In this form of a data breach, the unauthorized person intentionally accesses and shares the data with the motive of causing damage to an individual or business. Such malicious insiders might hold a legitimate authorization for using the data, but their purpose is dangerous.

Lost or Stolen Devices

If a user device having sensitive information in an unencrypted and readable format gets stolen or lost, then it is also referred to as a data breach, since the unauthorized user can gain access to critical information without permission.

Malicious Outsiders

In this form of a data breach, the cyber-attackers deploy several attacking methods with the intent to gain information either from the business’s network or an individual user.

Types of Data Breaches

After analyzing various methods of how data breaches occur, let’s determine the different types of data breaches.

1. Ransomware

A ransomware attack takes place when the cyber-attacker gets away with your sensitive data and asking for monetary compensation in return. This form of data security breach encrypts your data, thereby denying you the right to read or access it.

Whenever a business faces a ransomware attack, its key operations are affected, leading to huge downtime-based losses. The companies are forced to compensate for retrieving their hacked data. Ransomware can take place through various channels like- email, malicious websites, or even social media messages.

2. Recording of Keystrokes

Cybercriminals tend to use email malware that is strong enough to record what the user is typing on his system. Whenever this breach occurs, it records every single thing that the user has typed like-credit card numbers, passwords, or any other form of sensitive information in the database.

Here, the intent is to drive the user against his company as the users have access to vital business information. The cyber-attackers use this information for either disclosing or finding certain sensitive information related to the company.

3. Errors by Employees

Humans are quite prone to mistakes and we often do it regularly. In a business, an error caused by humans can result in companies incurring heavy losses. In regular practice, it is quite usual for a user to leave his system unattended for some time.

This may attract any malicious insider to compromise the security of this device and data. When this happens, some vital information does get breached, which could have serious implications.

4. Denial of Services

The denial of services (DoS) attacks takes place mostly with a larger business firm as a protest. When this attack takes place, the hackers will disable signing into the system for those who’re already working. The data might not be lost, but it may force the company to go for a shutdown when dealing with breached security.

5. Malware Attacks

A user’s resources like can be prone to all kinds of security loopholes. There can be gaps in protection that need to be filled, as the cyber-attackers can easily target these gaps for injecting malware. Spyware is an ideal scenario for stealing critical data while being completely untraceable. The user fails to identify such an attack in the initial stages.

6. Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks take place when hackers from unreliable sources create webpages that might look completely authentic. In this form of a data breach, hackers imitate themselves as genuine people or organizations and then target their victims.

7. Guessing of Passwords

The obvious guessing of passwords is one of the most common problems that is linked to a data breach. The hackers can easily guess commonly set passwords for online accounts. Once the hackers break through the passwords, they can enter an organization’s network or even individual user’s systems to gain access to the crucial information.

Protection Against Data Breaches

Data breaches are rising continuously and due to this, no specific method has been developed to protect an organization against these breach methods. The business owners must teach the entire staff about the implications and damages that a data breach can cause and the things they need to care for data breach prevention.

However, certain basic practices like using robust password policies, investing in security services provider can be used.

Data Breaches, What Are They?
Know more about Data Breaches.

Image source: Freepik Premium

Guest author: Rishabh Sinha is passionate about writing articles on the latest technological trends such as Business, Big Data, IoT, Cloud, AI, ML, Cyber Security. In his leisure time, he loves to read about technology and the latest trends that are changing human and technology ecosystems.

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