In this day and age of digital dispensation, securing data has become a top priority for many companies and organisations. Cybercriminals are always out to hack systems and steal information that they can use for unethical activities. That is why data breaches are a significant concern, more so given the many ways systems can be compromised and the stored information stolen, deleted, or altered. Based on such statistics, it is wise to highlight some of the ways that your company or organisations can have fall victim to data breaches or cyberattacks. Let’s take a look at how such things can happen. 1. Employee Error Your staff is your weakest link in matters related to the security of your businesses information. Any organisation or company that has a gateway to the internet is but a click away from having its systems hacked and data compromised. Such cases are at times attributed to a lack of adhering to security procedures by the employees, and them leaking sensitive information. For instance, bulk emails are often sent to multiple recipients who are listed under the CC field instead of the BCC one. In such an instance, all recipients will see the email addresses of every other recipient of the same message. It exposes the addresses, which is a terrible thing, and worse still if the message contains sensitive information about the recipients. 2. Cyber Attack Cybercriminals can target an individual, business or organisation in different ways. The tactics they employ can be placed in three categories. The first is the use of exploits to gain access in your data systems and the stored information. It is a method that may include the above example of sending bulk emails. It can also entail the use of brute-force password hacking. In this method, the hackers will go to a long-in page and use a tool to generate millions of possible passwords to find the right one. That is why experts recommend the use of a strong password that such hack tools cannot break. The second is the use of malware to collect sensitive data or to disrupt the individual’s or business’ online activities. Different types of malware are designed for unique purposes. Some can be made to run undetected in the background, where they gather data about browsing habits. They can even be programmed to trigger the computer’s processors to initiate unauthorised tasks on behalf of the hacker. Some malware is destructive, and they include adware, viruses and ransomware that can corrupt data systems and delete files. The third one is a tactic that entails social engineering, which is what we shall address as the next data breach technique that these unscrupulous individuals use. 3. Social Engineering This is an online attack in which the cyber crooks pretend to be legitimate entities offering particular services. They will try and trick you into: Giving our sensitive information • Downloading a malicious file • Granting them access to restricted space (which can be physical access to the organisation’s servers or the login details) The cyber attackers prefer a social engineering tactic known as phishing. It entails sending of emails from a supposedly legitimate entity with a message containing urgent requests for something such as the user’s login details or talking about an issue with the company’s online services delivery. They can use the phishing attack on social media and even in the form of text messages. 4. Malicious Insider As pointed out earlier in this article, employees are the primary reason for data breaches and security vulnerability in most companies and organisations. They may unknowingly help the digital fraudsters to gain access to sensitive information. In some instances, the trusted workers could be the crooks themselves, and this leads to what’s known as malicious insider activity. The motives of such insiders are driven by the same reason that other cybercriminals have. It could be for revenge, where a disgruntled employee seeks to sabotage the company because of being laid off, overworked and underpaid, or feeling unappreciated. The employee may also do such acts for financial gain, whereby they steal data to sell on the dark web. 5. Physical Theft While most data breaches are linked to stealing, deletion or corruptions of stored digital information, that is not always the case. However, such offences can also be executed targeting physical data, which can be in discs, audio/visual tapes, and paper records. If such documentation is not properly disposed of when its no longer needed, it can end up in the hands of unscrupulous individuals who can leverage it against your company or organisation. In some cases, the physical records may fall out of the rubbish bins for people to see. They can also find their way in landfills where anyone can stumble upon them. Therefore, you need to make sure that you dispose of such information securely. The same goes for your decommissioned computers and USB sticks. Such devices need to be wiped clean of the stored data so that dumpster divers and digital fraudsters cannot find any information they can use against you. Digital companies, such as Ideal Health Consultants, have to take data security very seriously indeed.