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A Data Breach is a cyber attack in which sensitive, protected or confidential information is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen, or altered by an individual without authorization. Also known as a data leak, data spill or hacking, it can cause financial losses, reputational damage, regulatory penalties, and litigation.

Despite the best security measures, data breaches still occur. They can be a result of human error or malware or system flaws. The attackers might exploit the vulnerabilities of the system by using tools like malware, phishing emails, brute force attacks and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to get into the company systems and extract the data.

According to the Cost of a Data Breach 2022 report, hackers steal email addresses, usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and other personal information in data breaches. They may use this data to breach other accounts or make fraudulent purchases. They might even sell the data to third parties or use it for identity theft. Sometimes, criminals just steal your data to prove they can.

A data breach can be detected through monitoring tools, intrusion detection systems, penetration testing and vulnerability scanning. To prevent data breaches, companies should encrypt sensitive information, have regular backups, train their employees and implement incident response plans. They should also implement security technologies like SOAR, UEBA, EDR and XDR to detect and respond to threats quickly. They should also follow government regulations like the U.S. Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to protect their customers’ information.