A data breach is an occurrence where important information is taken or stolen from your system or website without your authorization or knowledge. It occurs when the data in your company/business/website/organization suffers a severe security incident that causes breach in data privacy or confidentiality. The security incident will most likely result I stolen sensitive, confidential and proprietary data that includes personal client information, customer data, credit card and financial information, trade secrets or worse.
Data beaches can affect both small businesses, companies or large organizations. The data breach poses a high risk to everyone invoked, except the perpetrators. The effect can damage your reputation and lead to major financial loss on your parts as well as for your clients or customers.
How data breaches occur
Phase one: Research
First, the cyber criminals have to pick a target. They look for businesses or websites that have lots of weaknesses to exploit. They do extensive research on your systems, employees and the network you use for you business. Research can be hours, days or even months depending on your company’s size. They go as far as stalking anyone involved on social media
Phase two: The attack
Once they determine your weakness, the cyber attacker will make initial contact through a social or network-based attack. For network-based attacks the criminals use your weaknesses and vulnerabilities to gain access to your system. Social based attacks involve the use of social engineering tactics like malware in infiltrate your systems.
Phase three: Data extraction
Once they get into your network, the cybercriminals will no extract any useful data from your systems. They use this data for financial gain, blackmail and other attacks on your business.
Common causes of data breaches and how you can avoid them
One of the biggest vulnerabilities to your systems will be your employees. The people involved in your business or organization will often be the biggest risk to your company data through negligence and ill intentions.
Social engineering is a manipulation technique used by hackers to exploit people into giving them access to private information unknowingly. They lure unsuspecting people into spreading malware infections, exposing data or giving access to restricted accounts and systems. They use persuasions, heightened emotions, urgency and trust to deceive their victims.
What can you do to ensure data safety?
Train your employees. It is essential that you put a training program in place to educate your employees on the many risks that negligence can pose on the important data in your company. They need to be educated on the different ways they can put the business at risk.
First, they should refrain from revealing too much information even if it is to family members. No one should ever reveal company information on social media platform because hackers could easily piece together the information.
Make sure your employees use strong password when setting up their accounts. Use password managers in your systems so employees do not have to rely on short, easy passwords which is a field day for hackers. Reusing passwords for different accounts can also leave your business vulnerable as hackers have software that can easily generate the passwords and infiltrate your systems.
Malicious links and downloads can distribute malware to a device, which criminals use to access passwords and log into your systems. Educate your employees to watch out for malicious links, especially if they use the same devices for both work and home use.
They can avoid phishing, spyware, adware and ransomware attacks among other malware by sticking to secure websites when browsing with the company devices. Because you cannot control their online activities when they are not working, teach them important tips like to stream from legitimate sites like https://thepirateproxybay.com/ to reduce the likelihood of running into malware and cybercriminals.
Users with complete access to sensitive information pose the biggest threat to your systems. The more the people who have access to the company information the greater the risk for a data breach. Sometimes, the cyber attacker could be one of your employees. While catching an inside attacker is hard, the best defense would be to compartmentalize and distinguish the information you share. No single individual should have access to all company information unless its yourself. This way, you can have control on who is in charge of specific data and hold them accountable in that sector.