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Data Leakage – The Most Common Causes

Data Leakage

Most businesses have huge volumes of sensitive client data. This data must be protected at all costs. This data is worth way more than any monetary compensation so it is crucial to keep this data locked up like Fort Knox. A data breach can be devastating for business; depending on the level of the breach it can even cause the business to shut shop.

For instance, in 2013, Yahoo – one of the largest web services provider during the time suffered a data breach that put close to 3 billion people’s personal data at risk. Just to get the scale of this attack, 3 billion people roughly equates to half the total population of the entire world.

Some of the other companies that have had major data breaches are Adobe, Equifax, Home Depot, eBay, Target and JP Morgan Chase just to name a few.

From these instances, we can safely say that all companies, be it large or small, are susceptible to a data breach. These breaches can put millions of customers’ sensitive data at risk.

The primary motive of a data breach in most situations is linked to monetary gain for the hackers or sometimes there may be other reasons as well.

Here are some common reasons for data breach and how to overcome them

Weak and Insecure Passwords

This may seem quite obvious but weak passwords are the leading cause of data breach because such passwords can be cracked quite easily. According to a study conducted by Verizon, close to 48% of all data breaches happened with stolen passwords.

The hackers got access to there passwords either through phishing attacks, keylogging malware installed into the system or just by guessing them in certain cases.

This type of breach can be avoided by implementing a two-step authentication process for all access to the company’s systems. This ensures that the person logging into the website must input a code sent to their phone or email ensuring that they are informed of the log-in attempt if someone else is using their credentials to log in.

Theft of Company Property From Employees

Another common cause of data breach is when there are careless employees that lose devices containing their company’s sensitive information. If they fall in the wrong hands and the sensitive data is posted online, it can do a lot of damage to the company.

This may seem like something that is not that common in today’s world but if the company in question is a particularly huge company then this can have a huge impact on it. For instance, Apple employees have been known to misplace their devices containing sensitive information and sometime during 2018, the details of the latest iPhone was leaked online due to the same reason.

Exploitation of Vulnerabilities

Determined hackers are always on a lookout for vulnerabilities and exploit them as and when they find it. Even though this type of data breach is not very common, if omitted, it can prove to be quite expensive to a business. To overcome this situation, a business must use software and personnel to monitor the system for any evident vulnerabilities and patch them up before it catches the eyes of any potential hackers.

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