BotNet News

Your source for Online Security News

Data Breach

Data Breach occurs when sensitive or protected information is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen or altered by an individual unauthorized to do so. Also known as a data breach, information leak or cyber attack, this type of incident is an extremely serious security violation. A business can experience fines, financial loss and reputational damage as a result of a data breach. For example, in a 2017 attack on the credit agency Equifax, personally identifiable information (PII) was exposed for millions of individuals.

A data breach can be internal or external. Internal breaches are typically the result of employee error. For example, an employee might accidentally email sensitive information to the wrong person or create a malware program that allows attackers to access the company’s systems. In the case of a medical provider, an employee could expose confidential information about patients in the form of emails or documents.

External attacks are often more severe. These attacks can involve hacking, misconfigured servers or applications, and lost or stolen equipment. Hackers may also use brute force attacks to guess passwords or other credentials that allow them to view confidential information. They might also take advantage of a flaw in a website’s design or the failure to encrypt data transmissions, leaving information open to anyone with an Internet connection.

When your personal information is exposed in a data breach, criminals can steal your identity or make fraudulent transactions in your name. For example, thieves who have your names and Social Security numbers can file bogus tax returns in your name or apply for credit cards in your name. It’s important that you are notified about data breaches early so that you can limit the harm.