What is a Security Breach?

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A security breach occurs when an unauthorized party copy, transmits, or views sensitive information. This is also known as a data leak or data spill. It can also be the result of an employee’s error. Regardless of the cause, these breaches can lead to significant financial, reputational, and operational consequences.

Employee error

What is the security breach definition, and what are the causes? One of the most common causes of security breaches is employee error. According to a recent Ponemon study, 24% of data breaches result from negligence by employees or contractors. These errors may also involve insiders, who are phished, have their devices infected, or lose them. Regardless of the cause, employees must be aware of the risks associated with employee error.

Human error can be as harmful to a business as malicious software. Employee errors are often the result of poor password handling, data handling, or improper use of the software. They also stem from a lack of knowledge about cybersecurity best practices and potential threats. Fortunately, employee errors can be avoided. Here are five ways to prevent employee error from affecting your organization.

The most common way for employees to inadvertently leak data is through email. This type of email usually asks for sensitive information. The recipient is often asked to complete a form on a fake website or click an attachment. This will download malware to the victim’s computing device, giving the attacker access to the victim’s private data. Sometimes, this can lead to the interruption of operations and intellectual property theft.

Advanced persistent threats

Advanced persistent threats, or APTs, are a type of security breach in which hackers operate for an extended period and remain undetected. They use several attack methods to accomplish their mission, including compromising critical system capability and extracting valuable information. On the other hand, non-persistent threats are designed to achieve a specific goal over a short period. They can be used to temporarily disable critical operations, for example, by taking popular websites offline. This can result in public outrage, loss of brand reputation, and restrictive policies.

While advanced persistent threats significantly impact companies, they are also used by smaller groups to gain access to systems. Often, these attackers use social engineering techniques to gain access and steal intellectual property. They can be efficient and yield lucrative payouts if they succeed. But many companies mistake relying solely on prevention, focusing their resources on blocking specific malware threats. Advanced persistent threats can bypass these techniques by taking advantage of multiple weaknesses, such as human security lapses and deliberate decoys, to distract cybersecurity teams from monitoring the affected systems. In addition, many advanced persistent threats are associated with specific countries or organizations. 

Malware

Malware security breaches can be devastating to an organization. Unfortunately, even the most secure network solution is not foolproof. Therefore, it is vital to update security software frequently. You should also install firewalls and anti-malware products, as these can help block malware and other cyberattacks.

Malware attacks are often caused by email attachments, which can spread quickly to unsuspecting users. In addition, malware can be spread through file servers, where users download infected files. Likewise, malware can spread through file-sharing software, allowing it to replicate on computer systems and removable media.

Impersonation

An impersonation attack is a security breach that occurs when someone impersonates a company or brand. This is used to trick people into giving out sensitive information. The most common type of impersonation attack involves email. The attacker will send an email that appears to come from a company or brand. It will try to get the recipient to provide account credentials or click malicious links. In many cases, the attacker will use a fake domain to send the email.

There are many impersonation attacks, but all are highly dangerous and can result in a security breach. Social engineering is critical to impersonation attacks, as the attacker tries to appear trustworthy. For example, they may pose as a well-known vendor or a coworker who has forgotten their badge.

Impersonation attacks also involve spoofing an email address and display name. Using public information, these attackers can identify their target and create a fake email that looks very similar to the actual one. This attack is especially effective when it targets new employees because they don’t know the company’s normal processes. They can also fool lower-level employees into paying fraudulent invoices.