How Does Data Breach Happen?

There are many ways that data breaches can steal your information, from a human error to malicious software. The best way to protect yourself is to learn the warning signs of a potential violation and take precautions. 


When a case of a data breach occurs, organizations need to act quickly. In most cases, hacking causes the violation, but negligent employees may also be responsible. Therefore, companies should assemble a response team to address the problem and inform the IT department, which should implement an action plan.

In late 2014, hackers gained access to the corporate network of Sony Pictures Entertainment. As a result of this hacking attack, the personal information of nearly ten million customers was exposed. This data breach was made possible by the hacking group Guardians of Peace, which leaked unreleased films and confidential emails from Sony executives.

Human error

According to statistics, human error accounts for 90% of all violations. The cost of human error is higher when PII involves PII. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate human error. The errors are typically classified as “skill-based” or “decision-based.” The first type includes system misconfigurations, poor patch management, or an employee clicking on an unsafe URL.

Organizations must take this seriously. Data breaches caused by human error take longer than other breaches to detect, contain, and repair. BEC and phishing scams are particularly prone to human error. The average time to identify and rectify a BEC or phishing breach is more than 200 days.

Skimming attacks

While these attacks have been around for quite a while, recent developments have increased their threat profile and become a global problem.

The first step in fighting these attacks is to secure websites from potential attacks. Turning on transaction notifications and checking account statements for suspicious transactions is essential. Otherwise, criminals can use your data and make charges on other websites. You should also contact your local authorities to report suspected skimming devices.


Malware is a powerful tool used by cybercriminals to steal sensitive data from your computer. Malware can infect any computing device, including desktop computers, laptops, and mobile phones. Although desktop computers tend to have more robust antivirus protection, mobile devices often have less effective protection. Malware can be introduced to your device by infected websites, apps, or even from an insecure Wi-Fi connection. Some of this malware will attempt to harvest passwords and other sensitive data. Others will disable cybersecurity protections and take over your computer.

Malware is a dangerous threat because it can wipe data from your computer. For instance, if malware is installed on a hospital computer, it can wipe the personal information of millions of patients. It can put a hospital in a difficult situation and even put patients’ lives at risk.

Pretexting attacks

Pretexting attacks are a method that criminals use to gain access to confidential information. These attackers use leaked personal information, including social security numbers and office locations, to identify potential victims. They may also use a victim’s date of birth, credit card number, or other personal information to gain access. Therefore, when you receive an unsolicited request for personal data, you should never give it out without verifying the phone number.

Pretexting attacks are a method of social engineering in which the attacker creates an elaborate scenario to trick their victim into giving up personal information. They often impersonate a reputable entity or a trusted individual to obtain personal information and then use the information to commit identity theft or other malicious activities. Advancements in the technique include posing as an authority figure, which allows attackers to circumvent security policies.

Hacking on a system that was not compromised

A data breach occurs when unauthorized individuals gain access to an unprotected system. This unauthorized access could include stealing or changing data. The results of a data breach can be disastrous. They can lead to the destruction of databases and the theft of confidential information and intellectual property. In addition, they can result in legal and regulatory obligations to notify affected individuals.

If you discover a data breach, you must change your passwords immediately. Although most violations are due to hacking, a negligent employee could also be responsible. Regardless, the company should have a team to handle the situation. It is also a good idea to notify your IT department as soon as you discover a data breach so that they can set up a plan to address the issue.

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