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Data Breach

Data Breach is a cyber incident that occurs when sensitive information falls into the wrong hands. It can be the result of an attacker exploiting a vulnerability, phishing, hacking, or an insider threat. It exposes data that can negatively impact business operations, revenue and brand reputation. The worst data breaches involve personal identifying information, financial data and intellectual property. Attackers can use the stolen data for illicit purposes such as identity theft, credit card fraud and other crimes.

The most damaging attacks come from hackers who breach security systems through malware, phishing and social engineering, or brute force hacking. These attacks can include ransomware, which holds computer files hostage until the victim pays a ransom. Attackers also target employee credentials, leveraging phishing attacks to trick employees into divulging sensitive information like login credentials.

While any data could be breached, attackers most often seek information with monetary value. This includes names, email addresses and passwords, as well as payment information and personal details that can be used for illegal activity. Depending on the amount of stolen data, a data breach can cost businesses millions in fines for compliance violations, lawsuits and long-term brand damage.

Companies should prepare for a potential data breach by developing and testing a response plan. This should include finding out what kind of data was breached, informing affected individuals, and taking steps to prevent future attacks. These measures may include notifying law enforcement, changing passwords and freezing credit accounts.