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3 ways data breaches happen

As a business owner, you know how important it is to protect your company’s sensitive information. Unfortunately, data breaches are becoming increasingly common, and they can happen to any organisation, big or small. Whether it’s customer data or confidential financial information, the consequences of a breach can be devastating.

That’s why it’s crucial to be aware of the most common ways data breaches occur, so you can take steps to prevent them from happening, safeguard your company’s valuable data and maintain the trust of your customers.

data breach

Types of data breaches

Data breaches can come in many different forms, but generally, they can be categorised into two main types: accidental and intentional.

Accidental breaches occur when someone within the organisation unintentionally exposes sensitive data. This can happen in a variety of ways, such as sending an email to the wrong recipient or misplacing a device that contains sensitive information.

Intentional breaches, on the other hand, are caused by malicious actors who are looking to steal or damage data for personal gain. These attacks can take many forms, including hacking, phishing, and malware.

3 common ways data breaches occur

By understanding these threats, you can take steps to protect your business and reduce the risk of a breach.

Human error and insider threats

One of the most common causes of data breaches is human error. This can include things like accidentally sending an email to the wrong person, leaving a laptop or mobile device unattended in a public place, or failing to properly dispose of sensitive documents. In some cases, insiders with access to sensitive data may intentionally leak or steal information for personal gain.

To prevent accidental breaches, it’s important to educate employees on best practices for data security. This may include things like using strong passwords, encrypting sensitive data and avoiding the use of public Wi-Fi networks. Implementing strict access controls and monitoring to prevent insider threats is also a good idea.

Cyber-attacks and hacking

Cyber-attacks are another common cause of data breaches. These attacks can take many forms but generally involve a malicious actor attempting to gain unauthorised access to a system or network. Threat actors use any number of techniques to gain access, including social engineering attacks such as phishing emails, and attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in software or hardware.

It’s important to keep all software and hardware up to date with the latest security patches. It’s also a good idea to implement multi-factor authentication and other security measures to prevent unauthorised access. Regular security audits and penetration testing can also help identify vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by attackers.

Malware and ransomware

Malware and ransomware are types of malicious software that can be used to steal or encrypt sensitive data. Malware is any software that is designed to harm a computer system or network, while ransomware specifically encrypts data and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key.

To prevent malware and ransomware attacks, it’s important to keep all software up to date and to use antivirus software and firewalls to detect and block malicious activity. It’s also a good idea to implement regular backups of sensitive data to prevent loss in the event of an attack.

Become cyber resilient with the security experts

Data breaches are a growing threat to businesses of all sizes. Whether caused by human error, cyberattacks, or malware, the consequences of a breach can be devastating. The cybersecurity consultants at Virtu offer services and solutions to protect your business holistically, across your network, cloud or endpoints. Talk to the cybersecurity experts at Virtu today. Prevention is always better than remediation when it comes to data breaches.

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