What Is the Most Common Form of Data Breach?

What Is the Most Common Form of Data Breach?

A Data Breach can be more than just a cyber security threat because it leads to significant problems affecting your business and organisation. Data breaches happen when unauthorised individuals copy, expose, or view sensitive data. The data can be personal or organisational, so there is an essential need for training people and employees to prevent data breaches and security issues.

You will get better insight into the following topics in the next sections:

  • What is a Data Breach?
  • What Are the Main Reasons for Data Breaches?
  • How Do Data Breaches Affect Your Business?
  • How Much is the Cost of a Data Breach?
  • What Are the Main Practices to Prevent Data Breaches?
  • What Can You Do When a Data Breach Happens?

Data Breach Definition

A data breach is defined as one of the most critical cyber security issues in which highly-sensitive information is accessed without authorisation. It is the loss of control when organisations or individuals can not protect their sensitive data, leading to difficulties and significant losses.

Data breaches can be the consequence of accidental events, or they can occur when an employee or individual intentionally helps cybercriminals steal information. Employees with authorised access to sensitive data can deliberately open the doors and allow hackers to penetrate organisational systems and take malicious actions. When a data breach occurs, it can lead to many problems, ranging from financial losses to the vast destruction of an organisation’s brand image and credibility. Data leakage is the most affecting result of data breaches, and there might be complete data loss if the cyber attack aims to do so.

Essential Differences Between Data Breach and Data Security Breach

A data breach refers to the state of data leakage when sensitive data unconsciously or intentionally is exposed to the public by an internal problem or a cyber attack.

Technically, data breaches are not the same as data security breaches, and they represent 2 completely different concepts. All data breaches come under the data security breach category, but data security breach signifies a broader idea, including all kinds of security incidents that violate organisational policies.

You cannot say all data security breaches are a type of data breach, but the opposite is true. A security breach is an event related to organisational or personal systems that involves alerting the target’s system or network. Typically, a security breach can be a malware or ransomware attack conducted by skilled hackers which can lead to several types of issues, ranging from data leakage and unauthorised access to malicious code injection in systems.

Data BreachSecurity Breach
A security incident which targets personal data or sensitive organisational dataAn all-encompassing concept which includes all kinds of security incidents violating organisational, legislative, or regulatory rules.
Needs less effort to prevent issuesNeeds much effort to design a security plan
All data breaches are classified as security breachesNot all security breaches are a type of data breaches
It can have many damages, including the loss of data or revenue lossA security breach can have extensive impacts on the business compared to data breaches
Differences between data breach and security breach

The Biggest Data Breaches In the History of the Internet

Everyone is at risk of a cyber attack or personal data loss, no matter what business or industry you’re working in. Hackers and cybercriminals always develop new ways to find defects in systems and networks and penetrate to steal your sensitive information.

So, even grown-up organisations are touched by professional hackers. As a result, organisations need to stay updated with the latest cyber security practices and upgrade their systems to the newest level.

The most targeted industries by cyber threats, impacting systems and networks vastly, are as follows in the past 5 years:

  • Healthcare
  • Finance
  • Retail and wholesale
  • Public administration
  • IT
  • Manufacturing

Here you can read more about the top data breaches during the history of the internet:


  • Date: 2013-2016
  • Data breached: 3 billion user accounts affected

The cyber security incident that targeted Yahoo is supposedly one of the largest data breaches in history that impacted the company adversely. It caught headlines at the time, and the number of affected users was considerably high.

According to many resources, the company experienced several attacks from 2013 to 2016, and the data breaches caused a loss of millions of dollars.

The attackers copied and leaked various records and users’ sensitive information, including names, phone numbers, security questions, and answers. These data breaches incurred significant losses at the time, and the company was forced to create a settlement fund worth $117,500,000 to compensate for the damage.

First American Financial Corporation

  • Date: 2019
  • Data breached: 800 million user accounts affected

The First American Financial Corporation data breach caused a range of damages to the company, and it was an authentication error that created issues.

Founded in 1889, First American Corporation is a financial services company that works in the real estate industry. So, it was a shocking example of a data breach.

When such a data leak occurs, it can be hard to tell how severe it is and how it affects the user accounts and sensitive data. Luckily, First American Corporation took immediate steps and could manage the difficulty of remaining their data in the hands of cybercriminals.

What is the Target of Data Breaches?

Medium-large organisations are attackers’ prime targets because they have large amounts of data that can be sold on underground markets. Attackers mainly focus on every target that includes a large payload with a wide range of users’ personal and financial information.

However, attackers would like to target anyone they can steal personal data from. These types of data, including login credentials, credit card numbers, or even usernames and passwords, are such a piece of valuable information that drives hackers to conduct cyber attacks on a victim’s system.

Significant Damages of Data Breaches on an Organisation

A data breach can completely destroy a business. This is concerning that almost 60% of small-large companies shut down after six months of a major attack. Startups and small-sized businesses should make more effort to protect their systems from being attacked since a large portion of data breach attacks targets these types of companies.

Loss of sales after data breaches and reputation damage can lead to decreasing revenue, and finally, there is a high potential for business failure. A data breach can be costly, and it’s crucial for any business or governmental organisation to design highly-reliable strategies to protect their data from leakage and exploitation.

  • Financial implications: Data leakage can cost a fortune for large organisations. Businesses that don’t design foolproof strategies against security breaches are likely to receive repetitional damage and regulatory fines if they experience a cyber attack. In case users’ financial information is leaked, your organisation is subject to lawsuits and legal fines.
  • Customer confidence: In most cases, customers lose faith in your organisation, and they no longer like to stay with your brand. It’s difficult to say how many customers will leave a brand after a data leakage, but the impact is quite significant and concerning. When current customers lose trust, they think about buying and using products and services of other brands. Poisoned google searches after data breaches can lead to a decrease in getting new customers.
  • Employee turnover: Employee turnover is the state of leaving a company after a big problem. The problem may lead to more significant challenges, and this is more critical in the case of IT and security team members. After significant data leakage damage, your company needs to replace those employees who were working in the IT security team. This couldn’t be painless since new members will deal with the current difficulties after the incident.
  • Legal penalties: There may be legal penalties and regulation restrictions if an organisation lacks a thorough strategy when data leakage occurs. Businesses that want to enter international markets should comply with all regulatory laws and data privacy considerations defined by that specific market. All companies may face several cyber attacks daily. So, a well-defined cyber security plan must outline all the data security requirements and regulatory rules needed for securing systems.

Business Organisations

Online businesses are always exposed to cyber attacks, and they need to take steps to reduce the likelihood of incidents in the future. A data breach can cost millions of dollars for online businesses and eCommerce platforms as they will lose brand reputation after a cyber attack.

In this case, the number of customers directly influences the amount of revenue. Depending on the laws and regulations in your country and the required regulations in the target market, you can design a cyber security strategy and level up your company’s security state.

Governmental Organisations

Data breaches on governmental organisations have more extensive impacts in terms of financial loss and recovery costs.

Governmental organisations have to deal with different challenges as they will need to recover the data and fix the software. Downtime in the network to recover from a cyber attack can cause customer dissatisfaction, and organisations must handle the situation and provide instant solutions for them.

More data breaches, especially in healthcare, finance, and public administration, means more records are lost. Exposure of sensitive and personal data and customer records results in excessive fees, fines, and security costs. So, governmental organisations should take the necessary steps to mitigate cyber security risks and protect their customers’ data and sensitive information.

Individuals and Employees

Apart from the negative impacts of cyber security on organisations, individuals and employees experience challenges after a cyber security incident. There may be a need to replace the current employees with new ones, and the current ones can also impact future career opportunities.

Data breaches cause stress for employees at governmental or business organisations that have been affected. As one would imagine, there may be a state of disruption in an organisation affected by a data breach. Accordingly, employees will not perform tasks with peace of mind which will directly impact performance and productivity.

Organisations can reduce these impacts by taking a few necessary steps. Training employees and providing them with helpful information about how they can manage the situation after a cyber attack can significantly help organisations.

What Are The Most Important Factors Causing Data Breaches?

  • Lost or stolen credentials: Stolen usernames and passwords are one of the simplest and most common causes of data breaches. When you set a password like “12345” or “password”, hackers don’t have to make any effort to break into your account and exploit it. This means organisations can organise training events for their employees to teach them how they should use systems and secure their accounts.
  • Application vulnerabilities: Applications and software tools might have vulnerabilities and security bugs that hackers and cybercriminals can use to penetrate networks and systems. These vulnerabilities must be fixed through new releases and security patches, and they must be done promptly right after a vulnerability is detected. As a matter of fact, there is a small amount of time from the detection of a security bug to a cyber attack. This situation forces cyber security teams to provide security patches in a fast and responsive way.
  • Malware: An undetectable computer malware could be the best method for hackers to perform malicious activities in your systems. Computer malware isn’t just a problem for personal computers. It is a challenging threat that can target computer systems in companies to execute a malicious activity. Computer malware can remain undetectable for months, opening up access for hackers to exploit systems and connected networks.
  • Insider attacks: The phrase “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” can be best to explain insider attacks. An insider attack which originates from within the targeted organisation involves a current or former employee who has unusual access to systems and sensitive information. Organisations need to know that users with authorised and legitimate access to assets and systems are likely to misuse the access either deliberately or accidentally. So, cyber security teams have an important role in controlling these accesses to prevent insider attacks.
  • Improper configuration: Mistakes happen when configuring security systems, and there might be some errors that could expose customers’ sensitive records. Improper configuration is one of the main causes of data breaches that are easily preventable if you work with a professional cyber security team. Web servers and application servers are 2 primary points for configuration vulnerabilities that need regular updates and security audits to identify configuration issues and solve them correctly.
  • Social engineering: Social engineering has become one of the resultful tools for hackers in recent years to target organisations and individuals. Phishing is the most common example of social engineering used to steal sensitive data, including credentials, credit card information, and other important information about individuals and companies. Phishing usually comes with a fraudulent message to trick a person into revealing sensitive information. Training personnel and organising regular events to teach them all the cyber security points can be the best solution to prevent the negative consequences of social engineering attacks. 
  • Physical theft: Physical theft of sensitive devices is a common concern in every organisation. Company devices contain sensitive information, which can be misused and cause data breaches and identity theft. Companies need to pay attention to securing their building to block this type of attack. Physical theft of devices can lead to minor or extensive data breaches according to the amount of sensitive information stored on the device.

Common Security Vulnerabilities to Consider

Developers can develop highly efficient and secure software programs by writing code and performing many software tests. These approaches are needed to eliminate the risks of cyber attacks that target users’ data.

There are reliable methods for secure software development during coding, debugging, and testing software programs, but there are always security vulnerabilities that allow hackers to perform the following attacks:

Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is an ever-evolving type of malware used by cybercriminals. The attacker uses ransomware tools to prevent you from accessing your computer or personal data. In general, your data becomes locked and encrypted, and users are asked to take some steps to access their data.

Ransomware attacks generally target industries that own highly valuable data. Healthcare, manufacturing and governmental organisations are the primary target industries of ransomware attacks where hackers can take advantage of security holes to access sensitive data and ask for ransom.

Since there’s no way to completely block malware attacks, organisations need to adopt an all-inclusive cyber security plan to minimise the risks. Your highly-experienced cyber security team should make regular backups, have a well-established monitoring strategy, and prepare for an incident before it occurs.

  • Note that a professional cyber security team knows the essential actions to take after a ransomware attack that helps limit the impact and discourage hackers.

XSS Attacks

XSS, or cross-site scripting, is a web security vulnerability that allows attackers to inject a malicious script into trusted websites. XSS is a client-side code attack in which the attacker aims to execute the injected code in the web browser of the victim.

In this case, the web application or web page is a helpful tool for hackers to deliver the malicious script to the user’s web browser, which can be executed to steal users’ data.

Cross-site scripting attacks can have considerable impacts, and the injected code can be used to exfiltrate data or install malware on the user’s system. XSS vulnerabilities continue to remain a concerning threat on the internet, as many web applications still lack high levels of security. When attackers find a vulnerability, they can design their malicious code and exploit XSS methodology to perform their desired action.

Here are the most common impacts of cross-site scripting attacks:

  • Account hijacking
  • Credential theft
  • Data breach
  • Malware installation
  • Website deface

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Man-in-the-Middle attacks or MITM attacks refer to a cyber threat that attackers aim to intercept an existing conversation or data transfer. They can insert themselves in the middle of the data transfer and pretend they are legitimate, performing an eavesdropping activity.

MITM attacks are a type of session hijacking that allow attackers to go undetected while holding a conversation and accessing valuable data. Attackers can also insert malicious data and links in a way you cannot distinguish between legitimate and crafted data.

Nowadays, internet hackers and cybercriminals use the following practices to conduct MITM attacks and perform a data breach incident:

  • Internet protocol spoofing
  • Domain name system spoofing
  • HTTP spoofing
  • Secure sockets layer hijacking
  • Email hijacking
  • WiFi eavesdropping
  • Session hijacking
  • Cache poisoning

A cyber security team can help you with the following approaches to completely cover your company’s data security requirements and keep you away from the negative impacts of MITM attacks.

  • Establishing secure connections
  • Notifying employees to avoid social engineering impacts
  • Configuring secure VPNs
  • Creating reliable endpoint security
  • Helping employees stay updated with the latest cyber attack practices

SQL Injection Attacks

SQL injection is a web security threat that allows hackers to insert or inject a SQL query, making it possible to execute malicious SQL statements and codes. This is an application vulnerability, and successful SQL injection attacks provide an opportunity for hackers to modify database information and access sensitive data.

We can list some of the major impacts of a successful SQL injection attack:

  • Stealing credentials
  • Accessing database
  • Changing data
  • Deleting data

SQL injection is supposed to be one of the main tools hackers use to access databases. Over the past decade, many SQL injection attacks have been conducted by hackers whose target was websites, businesses, universities, and governmental organisations.

Here you can read more about the notable SQL injection attacks aimed at stealing and exposing sensitive data:

  • GhostShell attack: Team GhostShell conducted an attack on major universities, claiming they could break into more than 120,000 computer accounts. It is a type of SQL injection attack, resulting in the stealing and publishing of dozens of records belonging to students, faculty members, and university staff.
  • 7-Eleven breach: 7-Eleven breach was performed by a team of attackers who used the SQL injection practice to penetrate corporate systems. The 7-Eleven retail chain was targeted, and millions of credit card numbers were stolen by hackers.
  • Heartland: In 2008, Heartland Payment Systems was hacked via SQL injection, and the attackers stole a notable amount of 130 million credit card numbers, turning out to be one of the most significant data breaches in the history of the internet.
  • Epic Games: The entertainment giant, Epic Games, was targeted by a team of attackers in 2016 in which 800,000 user accounts were leaked. The company said the breach was due to problems with Unreal Engine, and it was tied to Unreal Tournament forums.

How Can an Improper Configuration Lead to an Adverse Data Breach?

Improper configuration or misconfiguration in security systems isn’t a type of cyber attack, but it can simply bring difficulties and issues. Cybercriminals can take advantage of potential misconfigurations and exploit them to penetrate systems and cause a major data breach.

Recently, most well-known cyber security organisations have urged security teams about improper configuration as it gives attackers an opportunity to gain unauthorised access to the system data and functionalities. Think of security settings that have been left on default or there is an incorrect configuration in security systems. This will facilitate the way of penetrating systems that can cause data breaches.

Here are the situations that security misconfiguration can occur:

  • Using default security settings, such as default passwords, default credentials, and certificates
  • Not implementing reliable security protocols and encryption practices
  • Enabling directory listings
  • Enabling unnecessary features that can cause problems, such as additional ports, services, and privileges

How to Deal with Security Misconfigurations?

You can use the best practices to prevent future issues related to security misconfigurations. One essential point is that the cyber security team should check users’ passwords in the systems and find out if they have been set carefully or left default.

One weak password can be the proper penetration outlet for hackers to hinder your security efforts and ruin every cyber security strategy.

Another practice to eliminate the risk of misconfigurations in the systems is to perform regular reviews and updates. A good patch management process can do this by providing security patches, updates, and review notes.

In order to avoid security misconfigurations, organisations need to strengthen remote access controls. Not having a well-defined strategy for controlling accesses results in an increased risk of data breaches. A good access control approach consists of intrusion detection systems, permission zones, firewalls, and virtual private networks that can limit the vulnerabilities associated with remote users.

The following points are also essential to minimise the risks of security misconfigurations:

  • Following secure coding practices when developing applications and websites
  • Providing cyber security training to all users
  • Regular monitoring and scrutinising of configurations and security settings

Be Careful of Insider Attacks

An insider attack is generally a type of cyber threat that comes from users who have authorised and legitimate access to your company’s systems. It typically occurs when a current or former employee plays a role in stealing sensitive data or opens the doors for hackers to conduct a cyber attack.

Note that insider attacks are one of the main causes of most data breaches, and cyber security teams should take stable steps to keep these types of cyber threats away from companies.

Examples of insiders may include:

  • Persons the organisations trust, including employees, members, and privileged individuals
  • Persons who develop products and software tools
  • Persons who are knowledgeable about an organisation’s fundamentals and strategies

All in all, there are 2 main types of insider threats that can lead to a large data breach in an organisation:

  • Unintentional threat: Carelessness is the main reason for this type of insider threat in which an insider exposes an organisation to data theft or data breach. Accidental causes of data breaches are classified under this category, in which persons mistakenly provide an opportunity for hackers. 
  • Intentional threat: Intentional insider threats, also known as malicious insiders, are performed to harm an organisation, and the motivation could be due to personal gain or harming the organisation due to a personal grievance.

You can protect your organisation by taking the following steps:

  • Perform risk assessment: An enterprise-wide risk assessment system is required to thoroughly assess the critical points and know which assets are in need of protection. Any organisation has a wide range of assets, including systems, intellectual property, proprietary software, and customers’ records, which should be listed and protected against malicious activities. A good risk assessment plan provides everything needed for prioritising the risks and enhancing IT security.
  • Enforce policies: There is an essential need for clear and transparent policies and documents to mitigate the risks of insider attacks. Your HR and cyber security team can work closely to develop the best policies that include all the required plans and practices. 
  • Respond promptly: Identifying risky actors and responding promptly to suspicious behaviours is one of the best practices to deter insider attack activities at the right time. An experienced IT security team can configure monitoring systems and alerts on all critical systems and events to control everything that can cause insider attacks.

What About Chains of Permissions?

Too much access you give to your employees can lead to data breaches, according to experts. Access control is a fundamental component of data protection that determines who is allowed to view or edit files and information.

The situation becomes more complex when there is a chain of uncontrolled permissions. In modern cybersecurity procedures, there is the zero trust security framework that focuses on continuously verifying and controlling users’ access.

Protecting Against Social Engineering is Also Important

Social engineering exploits human error to gain access and control for stealing sensitive information through tricky scams. In this type of cyber threat, attackers establish actual communication with victims and motivate them to share their information or give access to protected systems.

Generally, social engineering attacks are based on 2 main goals:

  • Sabotage: Disrupting or deleting data from systems
  • Theft: Obtaining valuable data like personal information, access, or financial data

Social engineering generally is based on the following emotions that are used to motivate or convince victims to perform actions:

  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Sadness
  • Curiosity
  • Excitement
  • Urgency

One crucial role of cyber security teams is to train employees and business leaders about how they can resist social engineering attacks. These pieces of training allow employees to avoid the negative consequences of social engineering attacks that can result in a big data breach. Cyber security teams play a key role in providing training in any of the following topics:

  • Avoiding suspicious emails and messages
  • Using multi-factor authentication
  • Setting strong passwords
  • Avoiding sharing usernames, passwords, account information, and sensitive data

What Can Malware Do?

Computer malware can negatively affect devices, and it is a primary reason for most data breaches. A ransomware attack is a common type of malware that is typically designed to penetrate a victim’s system, encrypt data, and steal information.

A data breach comes as a result of a cyber threat, and malware is a concerning cyber threat that can be coded to leave disastrous impacts on systems in your organisation. One essential solution to hindering malware attacks is to keep security software tools updated and have regular backups of sensitive data.

Malicious software can be designed to damage, disable, or exploit systems and:

  • Steal, delete, or encrypt organisational data
  • Alter or change data in databases
  • Monitor user activity
  • Extort money

Nordic Defender Cyber Security Team offers a thorough strategy, including these considerations to completely vaccinate your company against malware attacks.

  • Implementing anti-virus and anti-spyware software
  • Using secure authentication methods
  • Monitoring network activities and suspicious traffic
  • Keeping software tools updated
  • Regular auditing on the cyber security strategy
  • Controlling user accesses
  • Controlling third parties
  • Establishing a comprehensive email security and spam protection plan
  • Educating employees and cyber security team members about new techniques hackers use

Creative Solutions to Frustrate Data Breaches

The recent data breaches that hit large organisations remind us that data security and data protection are of high priority in any company. If you have recently read about the most significant data breaches, you may have noticed there was a security hole or application vulnerability that hackers exploited to penetrate systems.

Here is a list of practical solutions organisations need to consider to restrict vulnerabilities and cyber attacks.


Making sure your data is safe and protected is vital to any cyber security strategy. Encryption means all other persons don’t have access to read or change the data, and only authorised users can access the network and data in your organisation.

Most companies have unique encryption practices which are defined by their cyber security team. Team members convert data from a readable format into an encoded form in order to protect it. Encryption is the first building block of data security and can be one of the most effective solutions against data breaches.

Encryption is required due to many reasons, including but not limited to the followings:

  • Authentication
  • Privacy
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Security

According to GDPR, all organisations and small-large companies need to have a thorough cyber security strategy and keep users’ personal information encrypted and protected. This will be applied to those companies that want to enter and do business in the European Union.

Multi-factor Authentication

MFA is a proven practice and layered approach to bringing security to systems. Multi-factor authentication allows users to make use of a combination of login methods to verify and enter an account.

It’s a notable fact that using a well-defined MFA practice can prevent a wide range of cyber attacks:

  • Phishing
  • Spear phishing
  • Keyloggers
  • Brute force and reverse brute force attacks
  • MITM attacks
  • Credential stuffing

By contacting your cyber security team, you can start using the MFA approach and secure your systems and devices. There is an option to register more than 2 devices, link them together, and take a few more steps to level up security and shield.

Multi-factor authentication allows you to apply some settings to wipe out the data and sensitive information remotely.

The list includes some of the best methods to verify account logins after implementing the MFA approach:

  • Mobile device application code method
  • SMS code method
  • Email code method
  • Physical token method

Educating Employees

Employers must take stable steps to protect their companies against cyber threats. Educating employees and increasing cyber security awareness among them is one of the best practices that can help you decrease the number of mistakes that can lead to a large data breach.

According to recent reports, nearly 88% of data breaches are backed by human error. Even though there are so many obvious warnings, human error remains one of the primary reasons for data breaches.

Employers can provide an opportunity to organise cyber security awareness training to educate employees. If employees aren’t informed about the latest techniques hackers use to attack systems, they don’t have any solution when they receive them.

The main topics to consider when educating employees about cyber threats are as follows:

  • Current data privacy laws and regulations
  • Hacking and techniques
  • Ransomware attack
  • Social engineering and data breaches
  • Internet security
  • Password security
  • Physical devices security

BYOD Security Policies

Bring Your Own Device, also known as BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology), refers to a security policy allowing employees to bring their devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets, into the workplace.

CBS says 67% of people bring their own devices. Accordingly, cyber security forces organisations to design new policies related to this to protect both the company as well as the employees.

BYOD is a security policy that is designed to allow employees to bring their devices into the workplace, but it focuses on overcoming security challenges and mitigating the risks of data security. A comprehensive BYOD policy can fundamentally contribute to decreasing the probability of data breaches.

A solid BYOD security policy should include these considerations:

  • Establishing security and regulation requirements
  • Identifying acceptable devices
  • Registering all devices with the IT department
  • Managing and clarifying data stored and used on devices

In this case, attackers have the following options to damage:

  • Stealing data stored on employees’ devices
  • Using credentials to access systems and accounts
  • Destroying data from devices

Upgrading Hardware Tools

Hardware security is as important as software security, which refers to hardware tools’ vulnerability protection. Most cyber attacks come when there is an old hardware or software system, so updating software and replacing the old hardware with new technologies are key to providing security in an organisation.

It is a common practice to upgrade computers and security tools that are more than 3 years old, and it will give you peace of mind, proving you are using the latest technology tools. New computers and peripheral devices come with better parts and help your operating system and security software tools work without difficulty.

Patching Software and Updating Systems

Vendors provide software patches for a wide variety of reasons. The most common reasons include fixes for performance bugs, improvements, and adding new features to the current capabilities.

When there is no update for software tools, there is an opportunity for malware tools to exploit security holes and impact systems. But, software updates and software patching have a notable difference. Software updates aim at adding different features to the current tools, but software patches are mainly released to address specific vulnerabilities.

A regular and timely patching process can save your organisation from a data breach, and it will help you prevent millions of losses. That’s because more than 60% of data breaches are due to unpatched security vulnerabilities. The battle with bugs and vulnerabilities is endless, but don’t worry anymore. There are software tools such as patch management solutions that streamline the scanning process, and they offer a unique method for managing the releases of security patches.

Why is a Data Breach Response Plan Important?

Whether you are running a small business or a large organisation, you need a data breach response plan. This data breach response plan can rescue your organisation from a disaster and should outline all the required steps before and after an incident.

What steps should an organisation take before a data leakage? Which authority should you contact with just after a data breach? Is there any way to instantly recover from data breaches and minimise the negative impacts?

These are the fundamental concerns every data breach response plan should provide solutions to. The plan can help organisations recover from a cyber attack in the shortest time possible with the least reputation damage. Note that companies need to appoint a Cyber Incident Response Team (CIRT) or Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) that is responsible for managing the situation after a data breach and executing the data breach response plan.

A good data breach response plan has different sections depending on cyber security objectives and the type of industry:

  • Preparation: Ensuring an organisation is well equipped with the latest technologies and practices.
  • Identification: Spotting a data breach at the right time can help you hinder negative consequences and prevent a disaster.
  • Notification: The Chief Privacy Officer in any organisation should be aware of the data breach promptly to take necessary steps.
  • Assessment: It is the Chief Privacy Officer’s role to perform an assessment to understand the details of the incident.
  • Analyse & Clean up: A clean-up operation is done as soon as possible after a data breach.
  • Review: The Chief Privacy Officer should consider making appropriate changes to the current policies and procedures, if necessary, to prevent future breaches.

What to Do When a Data Breach Goes to Happen?

Knowing what you can do right after a data breach can rescue your business. Here, gathering complete information about the breach and notifying your company’s Chief Cyber Security Officer is vitally important to manage the situation.

Gathering information about the breach consists of 2 main steps as follows:

  • Determining what has been compromised
  • Identifying vulnerabilities and defects caused the data breach

After getting the information, your cyber security team should work to stop the data leakage and make sure that:

  • They have found a way of controlling the threat, and
  • Removing the hacker, and
  • Isolating the system

Once data breaches happen, passwords must be changed through a safe method. Remember that hackers may leave a trojan and record all the following activities, including changing the passwords and account information. The process of changing passwords and increasing security measures should be performed after ensuring that your system is safe.

Why is Data Breach Reporting Crucial?

All Scandinavian companies should keep a sharp lookout when experiencing a data breach and take necessary steps notifying the breach to the supervisory authority. According to GDPR, there should be an instant notification for any breach to reduce the adverse consequences of data exposure.

All breaches must be notified using the breach notification form in detail, including risk levels and important information about the organisation and the incident that just happened.

What is the Process of Reporting Data Breaches?

All actual data security breaches should be reported as soon as they are discovered using the Data Breach Form.

When reporting a breach, you must provide the following information in the form:

  • A description of the company, contact information, and your Chief Privacy Officer
  • A description of the sensitive data, including the type of personal data records and the number of people affected
  • A description of the consequences of the incident
  • A description of the required steps and solutions to deal with the data breach

Trust Us, and Let Us Protect Your Organisation Against Data Breaches

Nordic Defender Cyber Security Team aims to make the internet a safer and more reliable place where businesses and governmental organisations can grow without any cyber threat. We offer the complete list of cyber security services to Scandinavian countries and provide you with advanced cyber security practices, including but not limited to:

  • Detection content technology
  • Endpoint device security and monitoring
  • Domain name breach protection
  • Firewall, IDS, and IPS monitoring and alerting
  • Incident response
  • Advanced email security
  • Mobile security

Final Thoughts

Cybercriminals are always looking for new techniques to exploit. Vulnerabilities may exist and remain unexplored for months, and tech companies need to have a comprehensive plan to find these defects and fix them before they cause complex data breaches. A data breach forces your company to a substantial failure, but a good data breach response strategy can rescue your business and help you recover in a short time.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *