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Data Breach is an event that exposes confidential, private or protected information to people who are not authorized to access it. This can be the result of an accident or an intentional act by malicious actors, such as hackers. This can cost businesses and their customers significantly in a number of ways: legal fines from breached consumer privacy laws, monetary compensation to affected consumers, added costs for threat detection and response, reduced customer retention rates, lost prospective business opportunities and reputational damage.

Attackers are eager to take advantage of any opportunity to steal data and use it for bad purposes. They will do whatever it takes to get their hands on the information they want, whether that’s buying stolen credentials off the dark web or using social engineering techniques to trick employees into unwittingly revealing passwords. Once they have access to the compromised system, attackers can do whatever they want with it — including selling it on the dark web, using it for identity theft, committing financial fraud and exposing sensitive information that can damage organizations or individuals.

Having a clear plan in place for dealing with a data breach is essential. This should include the steps you’ll take to determine the scale and scope of the breach, how you’ll communicate with affected individuals (including those who may be entitled to compensation) and how you’ll implement any security fixes that are available. You should also review any legal requirements you might have to comply with in the aftermath of a breach, such as notification obligations and data protection laws.