Staff complacency to blame for data breaches

Staff complacency to blame for data breaches

DATA Fractures are a growing global threat. According to IBM and the Ponemon Institute, data breaches have reached a record high in the past two years.

Over 2,200 cyber attacks occur daily, costing large companies US$4.24 million (RM19 million) for each attack.

The most frustrating part of these recurring incidents is that the reasons for data breaches remain largely the same for both individuals and businesses.

The limitation of data breaches strictly depends on how highly you view the data managed by your company.

Don’t underestimate the importance of data loss prevention (DLP) – it’s key given the ongoing proliferation of cybercrime.

Learning about the most common causes of data leaks is useless unless you take steps to prevent these incidents.

In the following lines, we discuss eight common causes of security breaches and how to solve these problems with effective measures.

Weak passwords

What is the main cause of data breaches? You will probably find that weak passwords are the main reason.

According to the Harris Poll, 75% of Americans are duly frustrated with maintaining secure passwords.

Of this number, over 24% use common passwords such as consecutive numbers, a single word or a combination of three letters and three numbers.

Meanwhile, 49% of password users only change a single character or number in their password when prompted to update it.

Keeping a strong password is not that difficult. Many cybersecurity experts agree that combining a single sentence with different cases and numbers is more than enough.

A single word won’t do the trick since you usually choose something intrinsic to your character.

Hackers experienced in social engineering can figure it out to figure out your digital keys.

If keeping track of your passwords is a chore, we suggest investing in a reliable password management service to make life easier.

Criminal hacking

Criminal hacking is what causes most data breaches.

These are planned attacks by cybercriminals who are always looking to exploit computer systems or networks.

Some common techniques include phishing, password attacks, structured query language injections, malware infection, and domain name system spoofing.

Cyber ​​actors know their way around these methods and they know how to identify entry points or weaknesses in the network infrastructure of large organizations.

Criminal hacking happens because many companies fail to set up adequate security measures.

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One of the best ways to prevent data loss is by implementing a proper set of safeguards.

With solid data loss prevention, you can avoid cyber attacks and keep your data safe.

Monitoring tools also identify anomalies, so you know when a cyber attack occurs.

A company without defenses can be targeted and never notice the data leak until it’s too late.

App vulnerabilities and backdoors

When it comes to apps, the most common cause of data breaches is usually an unpatched vulnerability.

Applications are not built on perfect frameworks, they are pieces of software with vulnerabilities.

A faulty app can be a backdoor to steal data such as name, email or even bank details.

Initially, these cracks go unnoticed by software vendors and ordinary users, while cybercriminals find them to launch a zero-day attack.

Most companies continuously test their software to ward off potential attacks to address these exploits.

When a company finds a vulnerability, they release an update to fix any security issues.

That’s why many apps on your phone or laptop often ask for updates.

You must accept these data updates immediately to increase your security and keep your devices and apps running.

Social engineering

Social engineering is the number one cause of data breaches for companies and organizations worldwide.

Most cyber criminals are good at social engineering as it is much easier than creating access points to exploit a system.

Social engineering attacks rely on psychological manipulation to trick users into giving up their credentials.

These attacks are carried out using emails, SMS messages, social networks and even calls.

The best way to prevent social engineering attacks is to pay close attention to all requests in suspicious emails, calls or messages.

No company asks for login information or personal data, especially not banks or payment platforms.

Look at small details like grammar and syntax.

If you are called, note the details requested, but never divulge sensitive information over the phone.

Most social engineering scams are run outside of the US by people pretending to be representatives of a company you regularly do business with.

Phishing, Malware and Ransomware

When identifying the most common cause of data breaches, it always boils down to one of these three.

Phishing is a social engineering attack where cybercriminals manipulate their victims into giving up personal information.

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Phishing scams are mainly carried out via email and often appeal to your sense of urgency or the desire to win or receive mega prizes.

Then we have malware attacks, where cybercriminals use malicious software to breach a system or network.

Cyber ​​actors usually hide malware as executable files or links that you need to interact with to inject malicious code into your systems.

Ransomware works the same way. The only difference is that this program is designed to lock you out of your data or system and hold it until you pay to gain access back.

The best way to prevent these attacks is with a very discerning eye.

You should always check the sender’s address of any email, especially if it encourages you to take action.

Do not click on links or open files sent by unknown senders, and stay away from untrustworthy websites.

Carefully examine such links, URLs and files and keep your anti-virus software up to date.

Antivirus can catch most malware threats and delete them from your systems.

Incorrect management of permissions

How many people have access to your company’s data flow?

Many IT departments are happy to offer a key log to anyone who needs access to the company’s network at any time.

You cannot afford to grant these permissions so easily.

When you identify what’s causing the security breach, you’ll likely discover how too many permissions put you at risk.

If there is a need for ongoing access to all team members, keep an access register.

Make sure it shows who is accessing your systems, where they go and what they take.

Finally, you can manage exactly how many people need restricted or limited access.

Access protocols are part of any solid DLP strategy and an excellent way to keep your data safe.

User error and insider threats

If you ask anyone in the IT department what causes most data breaches, they’ll tell you it’s people. The worst part about this answer is that they are right.

People are the weakest link in any security measure to protect your company’s digital assets.

A weak password, improper data extraction, and a lack of email security best practices can cause a data breach worth thousands of dollars.

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On the other hand, we have insider threats. Disgruntled employees can cause more damage to a company than black hat hackers.

If you’re getting the wrong vibes from someone who works for you, it’s best to limit their access before things get ugly.

An insider threat can easily lead to loss of exposure to intangible data.

Physical threats

Are you sure your premises are safe? One of the causes of security breaches is physical attacks.

Not all hackers are sitting in a dirty basement spying on you. Many of them take proactive measures to gain access to your system.

Cyber ​​actors are often very knowledgeable about human psychology. Nothing stops them from using their online charm in the real world.

Cybercriminals can easily disguise themselves as delivery people or even company employees to gain access to your computers or servers.

Once there, they only need seconds to plant their malicious code via a USB flash drive.

Although it sounds complex, these criminals are not above the challenge.

You can solve this problem by implementing a strict access policy to your building, such as using badges, especially for sensitive areas.

Final thoughts

Knowing the causes of data breaches and how to mitigate them is critical to cyber security.

Find out what data loss prevention means for your business and set up protocols to protect your data.

Knowledge is the best defense against data leaks. You and your team must understand the implications of these events.

Train your team to have stronger passwords. Educate them about the dangers of criminal hacking.

Make sure they know the importance of updating their systems with the latest security updates.

It is also critical to teach them to understand social engineering risks and how malware, phishing and ransomware can affect the company.

Also keep a watchful eye on improper permissions and insider threats.

Your data is your company’s most valuable asset, and you need to do everything you can to keep it safe.

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