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Data Breach

What is a Data Breach?

A data breach is when sensitive information is accessed by an unauthorized person or company. This can happen in many ways, including phishing, malware infections, hacking, ransomware, skimming, or physical theft of laptops, smartphones, or other devices. It also can occur due to employee errors or negligence, a lack of security awareness, or flaws in the systems or networks that hold confidential data.

In the most common of cases, cybercriminals steal personal information to use against you, your family, or your business. They want to know your names, email addresses, passwords, and credit card numbers so they can sell it or use it to breach other sites you use and commit fraud.

Occasionally, criminals simply want to prove they can breach a large organization. This was the case with the 2015 VTech data breach, when 5 million adults and 200,000 children’s information was stolen—the hackers said they didn’t plan on using it but wanted to show everyone that they could.

A breach can have lasting effects on you, your business, and your reputation. It can cost you financial losses, as well as the loss of productivity that comes with dealing with a data breach. It can also lead to regulatory fines, such as those from the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Fortunately, you can protect yourself and your business by following these simple tips. Read more about Data Breach on the Malwarebytes Labs blog.