A data breach occurs when an unauthorized user accesses confidential information, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Most data breaches are caused by hackers or malware attacks. However, there are other, less technical methods, like physical hacking or human error that can cause just as much damage.
Data breaches happen all the time, and no one can feel completely safe because, even though cybersecurity systems become more and more sophisticated, so does software used by hackers.
Therefore, it’s extremely important for both companies and individuals to know how to prevent data breaches and it’s important to make sure that your servers run updated software and are protected by reliable antivirus solutions.
10 Things You Need To Know About Data Breaches
1. The cost of a data breach
A data breach can have a significant impact on both businesses and individuals, causing direct and indirect damages.
In fact, data breaches have become more and more expensive, with enterprises losing about $3.86 million per breach in 2020.
2. Most common reasons why data gets stolen are weak passwords
Although the importance of having a strong password is rather obvious, easy-to-crack passwords remain one of the most common reasons why data gets stolen.
According to BizNews, 80% of data breaches are password-related.
“If your server is connected to the web, it’s a target for hackers because they use automated software to search for unprotected servers,” notes Jozef Bain, a software security engineer at a writing services review platform Best Writers Online.
Such programs also initiate brute force attacks, trying thousands of combinations to access servers. The simpler the password, the sooner hackers will attack you.
3. Physical security breaches
You might have seen such attacks in movies many times, and they actually happen in real life.
Someone can get access to your information by inserting a USB device into your computer, and this method may work even when your servers are well-secured.
Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind the general security of your company and make sure that only the right people can access your hardware.
4. The most common motive is identity theft
According to statistics from 2018, the majority of data breaches are aimed to steal people’s identities rather than their credit card information.
In fact, 65% of data breaches result in identity theft that costs users about $1.9 billion a year.
5. The healthcare industry has the highest cost of a stolen record
According to research, a stolen healthcare record can cost as much as $363, so there’s no surprise that organizations from the healthcare sector are a common target for hackers.
Besides, fraud that involves healthcare records is difficult to stop, while credit cards can be quickly cancelled.
Healthcare records are also classified in GDPR as a special category of data, since they contain the most intimate data that could be used in various ways that would be extremely harmful to the individual.
Therefore companies risk higher fines if healthcare data is compromised in a breach.
6.Having a single antivirus solution is not enough
A single antivirus solution is unlikely to protect you from all possible attacks.
The best solution is to scan your systems, web content and email attachments with multiple solutions so that you can increase your chances to detect a threat.
Keep in mind that hackers study vulnerabilities in antivirus software, so having multiple layers of security is always a good idea.
7.Phishing attacks are on the rise
According to research, 85% of organizations experienced phishing and social engineering attacks in 2020.
Hackers create emails that may look legitimate even to tech-savvy users. Usually, hackers don’t just send such emails to random people but target specific people within a company.
Such emails contain malicious links or attachments. If a user clicks on a link or downloads a file, their computer will install malware that in turn may access the system.
8. Spam filters are bad at detecting spear-phishing attacks
Although spam filtering software can help you avoid some obvious phishing attacks, it’s not always effective.
Such software usually relies on blacklists of known spam so it can help you avoid scammers who send their emails to random users.
Spear phishing attacks, however, are well-targeted so such emails are not included in blacklists. Therefore, traditional spam filters are unlikely to detect such threats.
9. Yahoo data breach is the biggest data breach so far
Given that servers of these companies keep the data of millions of users, the results of such breaches were devastating.
However, Yahoo data breach outshined them all with the biggest cyberattack ever discovered in the history of the internet with three billion compromised accounts.
10. Outdated software and operating systems can cause you problems
You need to update your operating system and software regularly not only for new features but also to make it more difficult for hackers to get into your system.
Software and operating system developers know what elements became vulnerable for hackers so they release updates that address these problems.
Hackers are always ready to use any vulnerability so you should make sure that all your software is updated on time.
Data breaches are very common, and hackers use very sophisticated tactics. Therefore, when it comes to data breaches, the question isn’t if, but when it happens.
The most important thing is to know common threats so that you can avoid them. Use reliable firewalls that can block unnecessary ports and traffic.
Make sure that only specific IP addresses have access to sensitive areas of your web applications. Update all your software on time and install reliable antivirus software.
Businesses should also put some effort into training employees and informing them about possible phishing attempts.