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Data Breach

Data Breach – What it is, How it Happens and What You can Do

A data breach happens when sensitive or confidential information is stolen by an outside attacker or someone inside the organization. The data may involve personal details, financial data or other proprietary information.

There are several ways a data breach can occur, including lack of encryption or misconfigured websites and servers. It could also be a result of someone’s poor digital habits, such as sharing their login credentials with a friend or losing a device that contains confidential information.

Attackers typically target one or more organizations. They research vulnerabilities to exploit, which can be a long process. They learn the weaknesses of the target’s employees, systems and network. They then use their findings to scope out how they can infiltrate the system.

Then, they launch a campaign to infiltrate the company’s systems with malicious software, phishing campaigns or other means of compromising the victim’s infrastructure. This includes exploiting weaknesses in the target’s software or security practices to gain access to sensitive information and passwords.

Data breaches are typically reportable by law and can have serious effects on a business’ reputation, financial loss and customer loyalty. For instance, a data breach at Equifax in 2017 affected over 153 million customers and caused it to lose $700 million in revenue. This was a devastating blow to the company’s reputation and caused it to be associated with the incident rather than its operations.