A cybersecurity breach is an incident that results in unauthorized access to computer data, networks, devices, and applications. It results in your information being taken without your authorization or consent and occurs when an intruder gets past your security protocols.
We’ll explain everything you need to know about cyber security breaches below.
How does a data breach happen?
Every few months, it seems like cyber criminals steal data from large companies within the U.S. But how does it happen? Here’s how cybersecurity breaches occur:
- Physical theft or loss: If you leave your laptop in a hotel lobby or cafe, a cybercriminal can steal and breach it through your protected information.
- Insider and privilege misuse: Company insiders value information and know how to steal it. They may sell it or use the information to start a new company.
- Crimeware: This includes several types of malicious software (malware) or social engineering attacks. Criminals might use ransomware, SQL injection, or phishing attempts.
- Payment card skimmers: Criminals can place skimming devices on credit card readers to steal personal and financial information. This typically happens at gas stations and restaurants.
- Web application attacks: If you sign up for a web application, you generally share personal details. Attackers will use this to steal data such as names, addresses, and other information and use them elsewhere.
What happens during a cyber security breach?
While data breaches can result from a mistake, real damage is possible if a cybercriminal steals and sells personally identifiable information (PII) or corporate intellectual data for financial gain or to cause harm.
Criminals tend to follow a basic pattern for data breach: target an organization and plan. They research companies and victims to learn where their vulnerabilities lie, such as missing or failed security updates. Hackers know a target’s weak points, then develop a campaign to get insiders to download malware accidentally.
Once a hacker is inside your system, they have the freedom to search for what they want and lots of time to do it. This is because data breaches are typically not detected until months afterward.
How can you protect your data?
It’s always wise to try and keep your data safe. Even so, you likely have a lot of personal information you’ve provided to different places. This could include your bank, employer, and doctor’s office. They are responsible for keeping your personal information secure, but that doesn’t always happen. The good news is that there are ways you can strengthen your personal defenses against the damage from your data being breached. These include:
- Give your Social Security number only when required
- Shred all documents with your personal information
- Use secure websites
- Create strong, secure passwords using uppercase and lowercase letters
- Use different passwords on each account
- Check your credit reports to confirm identity thieves haven’t opened credit card accounts
- Frequently monitor your transactions and purchases
The Baran Agency provides military-grade cybersecurity services.
The Baran Agency works with enterprises in both the private sector and the Defense Industrial Base to provide cybersecurity assessments and procedure implementation to meet CCMC standards. Our mission is to empower companies to understand the risks to their data security and provide them with the training and skills to respond to breaches. Get military-grade cybersecurity solutions, whether you need to meet compliance as DoD contractors or protect your clients’ data.
Get started implementing industry-leading cybersecurity when you partner with The Baran Agency for a risk assessment report.