5 Major Causes of Data Breaches
Somewhere around the world, someone is punching their keypads real fast, or maybe slow – although I really like to picture it fast like in the movies – and here’s what they’re doing. They’re writing up codes and setting up malicious links just so they can slide behind your online security and steal away your personal data or that of your employees, or clients. Sadly, with new techniques, hackers are able to do this without raising any suspicions.
Now the big question is, how can you stop this? Here’s our answer to that. You first need to know what the major causes of data breaches are. How do hackers get in? Who or what can give them entry? Providing answers to these questions will help with creating a line of defense against attacks on your data. To help you with that, we compiled a list of top causes of data breaches and we’re going to share it with you in this blog.
Here’s our shortlist of top causes of data security breaches.
1. Weak passwords
You should be a little familiar with seeing those two words side by side. Basically, 90% of sign-up pages give you that “weak password” notification when you attempt to register a short and simple password. Bless the heroes behind those pages. Some even go as far as stopping you from moving to the next page until you create a strong password. However, some other pages give easy passes and we embrace it to our own disadvantage.
Weak passwords create a loophole in your security system and hackers are always ready to exploit that vulnerability.
2. Human Error
According to a Statista report, human errors are the second most popular cause of data breaches. Another report by Verizon revealed that one in five incidents are often caused by a mistake made by an employee.
Human errors could involve sending private information to the wrong recipients. It could also involve leaving a database of information online without any password or restriction. On this note, you might want to ensure that when using software like Google forms or sheets to collect user info, only a few trusted people can access the form. It’s a lot safer to give authorization to a few people within your organization than to make the form available to anyone with the link.
3. Misuse by authorized users
This might sound like a repetition of the previous point but it’s not. The major difference here is that this is usually intentional. Employees who have grudges with their organizations often seek to get back at them and see leaking company data as the best way to do that. In other instances, it might not be as a result of a grudge. However, employees can stumble on some inside information and decide to share it with an outsider for different reasons.
Fun fact; malware is a mix of two words – malicious and software, just like ransomware is a mixture of ransom and software. There are different types of malware and they can be used for different purposes. One prominent type is called RAM scrapers and it is used to scan the memory of devices to collect sensitive information.
POS systems are particularly vulnerable to this type of Malware and this could lead to huge financial losses as a result of the compromise of financial data.
Sitting at the top of the chart for causes of data breaches is hacking. 45 percent of data breaches are attributed to hacking. It encompasses many activities like phishing or social engineering, ransomware injection, and so on.
You can’t prevent hackers from attempting a data breach but with a proper security system set up, you stand a good chance of safeguarding your data from them or at the very least, recovering stolen data.
To find out about the strength of your security system and optimize for a better chance against threats contact us for a cyber threat vulnerability assessment today.