The internet is intertwined into nearly every aspect of life today. It facilitates communication and information sharing and makes research of everyday and complex topics easier. However, it also exposes users to potential security issues. Understanding what causes data breaches can help you avoid trouble and secure your networks.
There is a wide range of methods that criminals can use to gain access to your sensitive data. These are the four most common ones:
- Intentional hacking: This is where someone uses computer code or theft of credentials to access sensitive information.
- Malware and ransomware: This is where malicious software is used to gain access to information.
- Phishing: Many people fall victim to phishing attempts by responding to fake email requests for information. These can look incredibly convincing, leaving even tech-savvy individuals open to victimization.
- Physical theft: Leaving a laptop or external drive unsecured can result in theft, which can expose the data on your devices.
Unintentional Misuse of Data
In some cases, an employee or company may simply misuse or mishandle information that has been entrusted to them. This is often unintentional, and they may not be aware of the breach. It could also be the result of human error, such as when an employee accidentally shares information with the wrong person.
Understanding how they happen is the first step to avoiding a data breach. Luckily, many of the most common causes are preventable.