Breaches in the data industries refer to the release, both intentional and unintentional, of private information to an untrustworthy source. This kind of situation usually concludes in this confidential information being accessed without permission. Cybersecurity breaches normally happen when the intruder can avoid security mechanisms in the technological process.
But why are these types of breaches a serious issue?
The truth is that confidential information that cybercriminals try to access has value. Information can be sold – for example, items like credit card numbers are sold for identity theft. Therefore, it shouldn’t be too shocking that these types of breaches cost companies’ extensive amounts of money!
This is why it’s quite worrying that cybersecurity breaches have been on the rise. Many of these incidents have been ransomware attacks including leaked data, adding to the pressuring issues aside from companies trying to deal with the global pandemic crisis. Cyber-attacks like these are piling huge amounts of pressure on companies, with many futures being threatened financially. With these breach increases, the average business spending on cybersecurity has rapidly increased over the past few years, with many smaller companies struggling to keep up. The main sectors targeted by cyber-attacks are telecommunications, technology, and media companies.
The types of security breaches
There are different types of attacks that can be classed as a security breach, and with ever-increasing attacks, it’s becoming easier to distinguish them.
It is common knowledge that weak passwords can be guessed, even after only a few attempts. With people using basic passwords such as family names, birthday numbers, or even just simply the word ‘password’, it’s no wonder that there are many breaches of security through cybercriminals simply guessing the correct code. Many passwords are just too predictable!
Next, malware attacks are also a type of security breach. An example of this is gaining access through phishing emails, which, when clicked, spread malicious, harmful software through a particular network.
Exploits are a type of breach that attacks the weaknesses in a system. This can include systems that aren’t fully up to date and are more vulnerable to attacks than supported, more developed platforms.
Social engineering is a method used as a security breach. The most common example of this is an intruder phoning someone up, pretending to be someone they’re not to persuade and manipulate the person to give them the password to ‘fix’ the computer.
What causes security breaches?
There are several different causes of security breaches, all of which contribute to the rise in these types of actions.
Organised crime groups may find these types of attacks incredibly opportunistic, especially when targeting vulnerable organisations. Some people, especially those who know a thing or two about technology, may find it easy to create a breach, gaining benefit from it with minimum effort. Furthermore, economic interests are always at the heart of these situations. Groups going after credit card details will be interested in finding income sources, and espionage actors may even operate on behalf of governments with growing economic interests.
What can you do if you experience a cybersecurity breach?
The first common action to do if you experience a cybersecurity breach is to change your passwords on all your different accounts. This can include security questions and answers, as well as PIN codes. Changing these passwords may prevent further access of cybercriminals in these accounts.
Concerning credit, you could get a credit freeze. This will minimise identity theft of using your data. Furthermore, checking your credit report for any suspicious activity can help you, as well as trying to figure out what data might have been stolen. The situation’s severity will differ depending on what type of data has been stolen, meaning that sometimes you’ll need to act faster than other times. Furthermore, simply be wary. Monitor accounts for any new activity, and be ready for social engineering over the phone!
How can we reduce the risk of cybersecurity breaches?
With cybersecurity breaches on the rise, it’s very significant to know how people can reduce this risk since it has such a negative impact. One way to target this risk is to guide employees and educate them on what suspicious and possibly harmful activity actually looks like. With more and more workers being targeted during the pandemic crisis, employees need to know what to look out for to avoid any unwanted breaches.
Furthermore, companies can avoid cybercriminals creating opportunistic breaches by looking out for any suspicious activity across the IT estate, whilst also putting an incident response strategy in place for all workers. By planning, people can allow for the continuity of critical security functions and hopefully reduce cyber-attacks.
With an increasingly online world, cybersecurity breaches are unfortunately on the rise. People and companies need to look out for these attacks and the impact that comes with them.