data breachA data breach is more than just a temporary terror. They can have a profound impact on your life and business. Sensitive information can cause huge problems for individuals, businesses, and governments. Hackers can reach you online or offline via Bluetooth, text messages or other online services.

A small flaw can lead to a huge data breach if it isn’t addressed properly.

Many people don’t pay enough attention to modern security threats because they aren’t aware of their existence.

We’ll be diving in to answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

  • What is a data breach?
  • What is the cause of a data breach
  • What does a data breach mean for me?
  • What can I do prevent data breaches?

Before we move on, let’s first define data breaches.

What is a Data Breach?

Data breach is when confidential, sensitive or protected information is made available to an unauthorized person. Files in a data breach can be viewed and/or shared by anyone without permission.

Data breaches can happen to anyone, from individuals to governments and high-ranking companies. Even more important, anyone can expose others to risk if they don’t have their data protected.

Generally speaking, data breaches take place because of weaknesses in:

  • Technology
  • User behavior

Data can slip through more places as our mobile devices and computers get more connected. We are constantly creating new technologies faster than we can protect them.

The IoT sector’s devices are a clear example of how we value convenience over security.

Hackers are exploiting many “smart home”, products that have flaws like a lack of encryption.

We’ll see more of this issue as new digital products, tools, and services are used without any security testing.

Even if all the technology is in place, users may still be prone to poor digital habits. It takes just one person to compromise a website, or network.

You are almost certain to be at risk if you don’t have comprehensive security both at the enterprise and user levels.

Understanding how data breaches occur is key to protecting yourself and others.

How do Data Breaches happen?

Although it is commonly believed that data breaches are caused by outside hackers, this is not always the case.

Sometimes, data breaches can be traced back at the source to intentional attacks. It can also be caused by simple oversights or weaknesses in the company’s infrastructure.

Here are some ways a data breach could occur:

  • An Accidental Insider. One example is an employee accessing a colleague’s computer without authorization permissions and reading files. This access is accidental and no information is given out. The data was however viewed by an unauthorized person and is therefore considered to be breached.
  • A Malicious Insider. A malicious insider is someone who accesses or shares data in order to cause harm to an individual/company. Although the malicious insider may be authorized to access the data, the intention is to use it in criminal ways.
  • Devices stolen or lost. A laptop or external hard drive that is not encrypted and locked — any information that contains sensitive data — can be lost.
  • Malicious Outside Criminals. These hackers use various attack vectors in order to obtain information from a network or individual.

Malicious methods used to breach data

Cyberattacks can lead to malicious data breaches, so it is important that you know what to look out for.

These are some of the most popular hacker methods

Phishing. Such social engineering attacks are intended to trick you into causing data breaches. To deceive you, phishing attackers pretend to be organizations or people that you trust. These criminals will try to get you to give the data to them or to gain access to your sensitive data.

Brute force attacks. Hackers might use software tools to guess passwords in a more aggressive approach.

You should go through every possible password option until you get it right. Although these attacks can take some time, they have become more rapid with the increase in computer speed. Hackers can also hijack other devices similar to yours by infecting them with malware, which speeds up the process. It might take only a few seconds for hackers to crack your password if it is not strong enough.

Malware. Security flaws can exist in your device’s operating system and software. Criminals use these security gaps to insert malware. Spyware is perfect for stealing private information while remaining undetected. This infection might not be detected until it is too late.

What are the targets of Data Breaches?

A data breach could be caused by an innocent error, but real damage can occur if the person with unauthorized entry steals or sells Personally Identifiable Information or corporate intellectual data in order to gain financial gain or cause harm.

Malicious criminals follow a simple pattern. Targeting an organization to breach is planning. They conduct research on their victims to find out where vulnerabilities exist, such as missing updates or failures and employees’ susceptibility to phishing attacks.

Hackers discover weaknesses in a target and then create a campaign to get insiders downloading malware. Sometimes, they directly target the network.

Once inside, malicious criminals can search for any data they need. This is because it takes an average of five months to find a breach.

Common vulnerabilities that malicious criminals target include:

You have weak credentials Weak credentials are responsible for the majority of data breaches. Your username and password combination can be used to gain access to your network by malicious criminals. Cybercriminals can use brute-force attacks to gain access to your email, website, or other financial information, as most people reuse passwords.


They pose a serious security risk and can be used by cyber criminals to gain access to your bank account and other online accounts.

Various malware attacks

These are used to disable regular authentication steps that would normally protect computers.

Payment Card Fraud. Card skimmers attach themselves to gas pumps and ATMs and steal data every time a card swipes.

Third-party access. Third-party access. Malicious criminals may be able to gain access to your network and data, even though you do your best to protect it.

Mobile Devices. Employees are permitted to bring their own devices into work (BYOD). This makes it easy for malware-laden apps to be downloaded to the device, giving hackers access to the data. This includes files and email from work, as well as the owner’s PII.

Data Breach can cause serious damage

Data breaches are not something that can be fixed with a few password changes. Data breaches can have a long-lasting impact on your finances and reputation.

A data breach can be devastating for business organizations. It can affect their reputation and financial bottom lines. Equifax, Target and Yahoo are just a few of the organizations that have suffered from data breaches. Many people today associate the data breach with these companies and forget about their actual business operations.

Government organizations can be exposed to highly confidential information by compromising their data. A government’s citizens and its citizens can be seriously threatened by military operations, political dealings, or details about essential national infrastructure.

Individuals: Identity theft is a serious threat to victims of data breaches. Data leaks could reveal everything, from banking information to social security numbers. These details can be used to commit fraud under your name by criminals. It is possible to lose your credit and face legal problems if your identity is stolen.

These are all common situations, but data breaches can cause more harm than these. It is important to determine if your data has been compromised. To find out if your personal or work accounts have been compromised use to check (this tool checks existing data breaches for your email address and reports what was leaked).

To determine if your data is being leaked, you might need more detailed monitoring. Kaspersky Security Cloud offers data leak detection to help you navigate the situation.

The best way to protect your self is to not be a victim. There are many ways to protect yourself, whether you’re an individual person or an enterprise.

How to avoid becoming a Data Breach victim

  • Everyone needs to be involved in data breach prevention, from IT support staff to end-users and everyone in between.
  • Security is as weak as the weakest link when you are trying to prevent data breaches or leaks. Each person who interacts with the system could be vulnerable. Even children as young as three years old can be at risk from a tablet connected to your home network.
  • These are some best practices to prevent data breaches
  • Software updates and patches available as soon as possible
  • Secure data encryption using high-grade technology
  • Upgrade devices when software is not supported by the manufacturer
  • BYOD security policies should be enforced, such as requiring that all devices use a business-grade VPN and antivirus protection.
  • To encourage better cybersecurity practices, strong credentials and multifactor authentication should be enforced. Encourage users to use a password manager.
  • Educate employees about security best practices and how to avoid being victim of socially-engineered attacks.

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now if you want to prevent data breaches and keep other online threats at bay.

SpartanTec, Inc.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 420-9760

Serving: Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Wilmington, Fayetteville, Florence, Charleston