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General Data Protection Regulation

Here you can find the official content of the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation) in the current version. All Articles of the GDPR are linked with suitable recitals.

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10 Things You Need To Know About Data Breaches

What you need to know about data breach

A data breach occurs when an unauthorized user accesses confidential information, either intentionally or unintentionally.

Hackers or malware attacks cause most data breaches. However, other, less technical methods, like physical hacking or human error, can cause just as much damage.

Data breaches happen all the time, and no one can feel completely safe because, even though cybersecurity systems are becoming more sofisticated, 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 significantly impact 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.

Cost of a data breach report in 2020
Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020

2. The 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.

[RELATED TOPIC: Security risks of working from home in the time of COVID-19]

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 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 your company’s general security and ensure 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 at stealing people’s identities rather than their credit card information.

In fact, 65% of data breaches result in identity theft costing users about $1.9 billion annually.

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 canceled.

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.

[RELATED TOPIC: Sensitive personal data - special category under the GDPR]

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 of detecting a threat.

Remember 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 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. The Yahoo data breach is the biggest data breach so far

Companies such as Adobe, eBay, and LinkedIn became victims of hackers.

Given that these companies’ servers keep millions of users’ data, the results of such breaches were devastating.

However, the Yahoo data breach outshined them all with the biggest cyberattack ever discovered in the history of the internet, with three billion compromised accounts.

[RELATED TOPIC: 100 Data Privacy and Data Security statistics]

10. Outdated software and operating systems can cause you problems

You need to update your operating system and software regularly for new features and to make it more difficult for hackers to get into your system.

Software and operating system developers know what elements become vulnerable to hackers and release updates that address these problems.

Hackers are always ready to exploit any vulnerability, so you should ensure all your software is updated on time.

Final Thoughts

Data breach occurs every 39 seconds
Source: Techjury “How Many Cyber Attacks Happen Per Day in 2020?

Data breaches are very common, and hackers use very sophisticated tactics. Therefore, when it comes to data breaches, it isn’t if but when it happens.

The most important thing is to know common threats to avoid them. Use reliable firewalls that can block unnecessary ports and traffic.

Ensure that only specific IP addresses can access sensitive web application areas. Update all your software on time and install reliable antivirus software.

Businesses should also put effort into training employees and informing them about possible phishing attempts.

[RELATED TOPIC: Reporting data breach under the GDPR]

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