Data breach is a security incident that exposes confidential, sensitive, and personal protected data to an unauthorized person.
How Data Breach Happens
It is said that hackers cause data breaches, but that is not true. Various other factors lead to data breaches, including:
- An Accidental Insider: A data breach can be caused by a co-worker who uses files or computers of their colleague without permission. The person may not share any information, and the access is unintentional, but as it is viewed by an unauthorized person, it is considered a data breach.
- A Malicious Insider: A malicious insider is a person who gets access to personal computers and shares confidential and sensitive data with the intent of causing harm to the owner or authorized person.
- Lost or Stolen Devices. When an unlocked laptop, external hard drive, mobile, or other devices that contain sensitive information goes missing, it is also considered a data breach.
- Malicious outside Actors: When an outsider actor, also known as a hacker, uses different methods to gather sensitive information from a network is also a data breach.
Methods Used for Breach Data
The hackers use different tricks and methods for breach planning of an organization. They identify the weak points and vulnerabilities like missing or failed updates and employees’ weaknesses. After knowing the targeted weakness, they plan a campaign where the insiders mistakenly download malware. The hackers search for data they want as they have more time to do it.
- Stolen Credentials: Stolen and weak credentials are the reasons for various cyber attacks. The hackers use the user’s name and passwords to access a network. As many people use the same password for every kind of account, hackers use the password to access email, websites, bank accounts, and financial information.
- Payment Card Fraud: The hacker attaches different card skimmers to gas pumps and ATMs through which they can steal the user data whenever the card is swiped.
- Third-party access. When the entire network is secured, the malicious actor can use third-party vendors to enter the secured network.
- Mobile Devices: In most workplaces, the employees are allowed to bring their own devices like personal laptops, and it becomes easier for hackers to unsecured devices to download malware apps through which they can store data on their device.