Data Breaches: Prime Target
A data breach is the disclosure of private, sensitive, or otherwise confidential information to an unauthorized person. A data breach may happen unintentionally or as the result of an intentional attack.
Data breaches affect millions of people every year. According to a report, the number of reported data breaches have increased by 49% in 2021. The consequences of a data breach might include harm to the target company’s reputation as a result of a perceived “betrayal of trust.”
Who are the typical targets of data breaches?
Major organizations are the typical targets for attackers aiming to perpetrate data breaches because they provide such an enormous payload. The reason behind this is as these companies have millions of users’ personal and financial data which is very valuable and can all easily be resold by the attackers.
However, anyone can be at risk of a data breach — from small companies to large organizations and governments. All private or sensitive information is important to cyber criminals. So it’s important that when planning their operations, businesses should be aware of the risks of a data breach and take into account the need to invest in strong data security services.
Potential causes of data breaches are:
Lost or stolen equipment: An unencrypted, unlocked laptop, hardware that’s left unattended, or an external hard drive that contains confidential information — goes missing.
Insider threats: Internal users with access to protected information or knowledge of networks and systems deliberately exposing that data. This is why keeping an eye on user behavior is so important.
Lack of access controls: An obvious entrance point that can result in a breach of one system and the risk of lateral migration is obsolete or absent access controls. One of the main reasons for this is companies not implementing compulsory multifactor authentication.
Absence of encryption: The companies collecting users’ personal data and not using a strong encryption method lead their user information at risk.
Misconfigured server or web application: Incorrect configuration of a website, application, or web server may leave confidential data accessible to the attackers purposely looking for such gaps.
How can companies prevent data breaches?
- Vulnerability and compliance management tool:
Use a vulnerability and compliance management tool to identify the vulnerability present in your system. This will help you to stay updated with your system vulnerability and also reduces the tedious task of patch management as it helps to prioritize your vulnerabilities.
2. Keeping software and hardware up-to-date:
Older versions of the software are always vulnerable in nature and are an easy target for an attacker to exploit and access sensitive data. So, it’s important for an organization to regularly install patches and updates.
3. Regular Training for Employees:
In order to protect company assets from harmful assaults, employees need to be regularly trained by their employers on the newest cybersecurity developments to avoid data breaches. Training employees to recognize and handle social engineering attacks can help a company to save millions of dollars.