What Is a Data Breach and How/Why Do They Happen?

“What is a data breach?” and “Is preventing a data breach possible?” are two of the questions we receive most often.

A data breach is an event that exposes protected or confidential data. These types of security breaches may involve the loss or theft of your social security number, bank account or credit card numbers, private health information, email and/or passwords.

A data breach could be accidental or deliberate. Let’s see which is the difference between them.. 

An employee in your organization may unintentionally expose your information online. Or, a cybercriminal hacks the database of a business where you’ve shared your private information. In any of these events, criminals may get into your sensitive data and benefit from it, at your cost. 

But how does this occur?

In this guide, you’ll find out all about:

  • Data security and recent data breaches
  • What is data breach and how data breaches happen
  • Preventing a data breach

 

 

Annual Report of Data Breaches

In 2016, Yahoo revealed two methods hackers use to access your private data online. These two methods alone have affected the lives of over 1.5 Billion people. That equates to over 450% of the United States population.

  • Over 1 Billion users accounts were stolen in August 2013
  • 500 Million users accounts were stolen in late 2014

The Identity Theft Resource Center has claimed that cybercrimes are gradually falling, however users are not in the clear yet. The Resource Center disclosed that 2016 set an all-time high for data breaches in the past several years.

 Here’s a quick glance at these breaches by business sector:

  • Corporations: 494 incidents (45.2%)
  • Healthcare: 377 (34.5%)
  • Education: 98 (9%)
  • Government: 72 (6.6%)
  • Financial: 52 (4.8%)

 

what is data breach risk?

 

How Does a Data Breach Occur?

Before preventing a data breach, you should understand how one occurs.

It may feel like cybercriminals continue coming up with fresh ways to steal information. But the reality is that they largely stay consistent year after year and use the same methods accounted for 88% of breaches.

What is the most common cause of a data breach?

  • Insider and privilege misuse: Company employees understand the worth of information and let it slip from time to time. Perhaps they sell it, or use it to begin a new company.Theft of organizational financial records accounts for 60% of data breaches on the Internet. Among the ways to prevent data breaches an important place is occupied by supervising company insiders.
  • Physical Illness and reduction: A notebook lost at a hotel lobby may result in a breach. More common, breaches involve newspaper documents. The reduction of physical assets could be accidental or deliberate.
  • Denial of support: All these attacks target systems and networks. Distributed denial of service attacks frequently targets large businesses. The cyberattacks flooding and overload methods, interrupting service.
  • Crimeware: Including various kinds of malware short for malicious software. What is a crimeware data breach? For example, ransomware strikes holding computer files hostage. Attackers seek payment to divert them.
  • Internet application attacks: When you register for a web application, you frequently share personal particulars.Paying more attention to what apps we use might be useful in preventing a data breach. 
  • Charge card skimmers: Criminals can put a skimming device on a charge card reader to steal financial and personal info. Two popular locations they use are: ATMs and gasoline pump terminals.
  • Cyber-espionage: Works as an email connected to state-affiliated celebrities. The target is to pierce a method and steal data as time passes. Restaurants and tiny companies have seen an improvement in assaults by being more vigilant about the accidental release or reduction of anything containing sensitive information.
  • Everything: As an example, a firm CEO purchases a wire transfer app. If someone in the business funds or cables money to some criminal’s accounts, the app may have incredible results to track these transfers.

Preventing A Data Breach: What Can You Do?

Cybersecurity and preventing a data breach works best when you are vigilant. It’s always smart to keep your information secure. 

Nevertheless, you most likely have spread personal information to lots of places. Your lender, your employer, your physician’s office, and even your preferred restaurant, they all have more or less of your private information saved in their files. All of them have the duty to keep your information protected, but this doesn’t always occur. 

Now that you know what a data breach is, you need to make sure you  take action to strengthen your individual defenses against information breaches. Here are some basic practices:

  • Use protected sites 
  • Create powerful, secure passwords with uppercase and lowercase letters, non-sequential amounts, and unique character symbols. You may also find uncommon approaches for fostering password power. It helps minimize the harm in case one of your accounts is compromised.
  • Make certain that your computers and mobile devices are running the most recent versions of operating systems and software.
  • Also, don’t forget to take action to decrease the effect of a possible breach risk.
  • Regularly keep track of online bank account statements to make sure all transactions are true.
  • Routinely check your credit reports to affirm that thieves have not been phishing and opened credit card balances or loans on your name.

As a takeaway, safeguarding your private details is easier than repairing the situation once it has already happened.

And preventing a data breach is easier when you comprehend what happens if you share your personal information in too many places online, risking to have very little control of it.

For more information on internet privacy and ways to protect your identity online, contact us today.