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Data Breach occurs when an attacker steals sensitive information from a business, organization or government agency. This data can be used for malicious purposes, such as identity theft, fraud and extortion.

Many of these attacks occur because of human error and/or security flaws in systems or infrastructure. For example, employees might view sensitive files on their personal devices without proper authorization permissions or a company’s server could be exposed to the internet due to misconfiguration. Other reasons for data breaches include malware infections that take advantage of security flaws, such as weak passwords, or physical theft of documents and hard drives containing sensitive information.

Using the data they’ve stolen, attackers can sell it on the dark web, use it to take over accounts or other systems, conduct financial fraud, or simply cause damage and embarrassment to the affected individual, company or public. For instance, stolen names and Social Security numbers can be used to sign up for new accounts or commit tax identity theft.

When a breach occurs, make sure your communications plan is ready with contact persons, disclosure strategies and actual mitigation steps that should be taken. Also, be sure your communication plans are transparent and avoid misleading statements that can put consumers at further risk. Finally, be prepared to provide answers to frequently asked questions. Putting these FAQs on your website can help consumers avoid phishing scams and provide them with up-to-date information about the breach. This can save companies money and time in the long run.