Types of Data Breaches

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A data breach is when confidential information is exposed by intentional or unintentional means.

Cyber security

Cyber security is the techniques of protecting computers, networks, programs and data from unauthorized access or attacks that are aimed for exploitation. Organizations transmit sensitive data across networks and to other devices in the course of doing businesses, and cyber security describes the discipline dedicated to protecting that information and the systems used to process or store it.

IT network security/Networking security

Network Security it is a set of rules and configurations designed to protect the integrity, confidentiality and accessibility of computer networks and data using both software and hardware technologies.Authorized users gain access to network resources, but malicious actors are blocked from carrying out exploits and threats. There are many layers to consider when addressing network security across an organization, these layers include physical, Data Link, Network, Transport, Session, Presentation and Application . Attacks can happen at any layer in the network security layers model, so your network security hardware, software and policies must be designed to address each area.

Security information

An information security management system (ISMS) is a set of policies and procedures for managing an organization’s sensitive data. It includes how people, policies, controls and systems identify, then address the opportunitiesandthreats revolving around valuable information and related assets. This will minimize risk and ensure business continuity by pro-actively limiting the impact of a security breach. 

Protected health information

Protected health information (PHI), also referred to as personal health information, generally refers to any information relating to an identifiable person. For hackers, PHI is information that they will try to obtain as when stolen this can then be sold elsewhere or even held hostage through ransomware until the victimized organization sends a payoff. Sensitive details about a patient, including birthdate, medical conditions and health insurance claims is information a hacker will aim to access during a security breach, this is why it is important that protection is in place.

Data Breach, data breaches

A data breach is a confirmed incident in which sensitive, confidential or otherwise protected data has been accessed and/or disclosed in an unauthorized fashion. Data breaches may include financial information such as credit card, Social Security numbers and healthcare histories, as well as corporate information, such as customer lists. If anyone who is not specifically authorized to do so views such data, the organization charged with protecting that information is said to have suffered a data breach.

How can you protect yourself from security breaches?

As security breaches are happening more and more often it is important that you know ways to protect yourself. Below we have included some tips on how this can be done:

  1. Create complex passwords – Ensure a different password is used for each account you have, the more complex your password is the better, at least 8 characters long is strongly recommended.If a company has got hacked ensure you update your password for that account immediately.
  2. Use a Credit Card – When buying a product online it is safer to use a credit card as this will give you greater protection.
  3. Watch for fraud – When online always look out for possible fraud. Ensure this is reported to the company if you do come across a security breach.
  4. Use HTTPS at all times: When submitting data ensure that HTTPS is used as this will ensure the data is sent securely.
  5. Account Alerts – Ensure you set up account alerts if they are available to you. This will make you aware if your account has been hacked.

From a company’s perspective the following tips have been created to make sure your customers/employees are protected:

1. You should always make sure your customer data is stored in an encrypted database.

2. You should have multi-levels of passwords to access any database storing customer information and change these passwords frequently.

3. You should make sure you have a Disaster Plan in place when a breach occurs.

4. You should make sure to have malware detection software running on both your servers and workstations and ensure that your firewalls are up and secure.

5. You should periodically and regularly run background checks on employees handling customer data.

There are many solutions out there today to scan and ensure that an application is less prone to a data breach. These can include Static Application Security Testing (SAST) which can be integrated directly into the development environment. This enables the developers to monitor their code constantly. Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) is then Black Box testing that can help to find certain vulnerabilities in web applications while they are running in production. This essentially uses the same techniques that an attacker would use to find potential weaknesses. Software Composition Analysis (SCA) can also be used to identify any open source components in your product.

What are the different types of security breaches?

  1. Denial-of-Service – Denial-of-Service attacks occur when a website is overwhelmed with requests, which blocks other users from the site. 
  2. Malware – Any type of virus, including worms and Trojans, is malware.
  3. Ransomware – Ransomware is often, but not exclusively, used on businesses that need access to time sensitive data, such as hospitals. A hacker gains control of the company system and locks it from use. A ransom note is left within the virus. The company or user is extorted to pay money for data to be restored or their data is destroyed. 
  4. Password attacks – Password attacks are combination of brute force attacks that are used to gain access to insecure passwords. A hacker uses a program that tries multiple passwords to get access to a user’s data until a password work. 
  5. Phishing – Email or phone calls that seem official to gain access or personal information is called phishing. They frequently take the guise of known, credible entities—such as a person’s bank. Various levels of misrepresentation to outright deception are employed to defraud or gain information.
  6. Insider threat – Your employees know how your organization runs and operates, how important information can be accessed and how it is protected. This is why it is important employees are trained correctly and proper security protocols implemented.

Want to protect your company from a data breach? Learn more about Application Security Solutions for Financial Services and security threats.

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