Data breaches are not new. They persisted even without technology. Say you gave an important piece of information or file to a person who wasn’t supposed to have it, your competitor looking through your work. There can be many reasons behind a data breaches. Before it was more physical but now with the advancement of technology we can see different ways of hackers stealing our information and using it for their own good.
There are many ways to prevent data breach but sometimes you can become the victim. What are you going to do then? How are you going to deal with the situation? What you should or should not do becomes the matter of concern then. There are many questions and many possible answers for them. In this article we will discuss the ways to prevent data breach and what to do if you become a victim of it.
When someone tries to steal your confidential and sensitive information by unauthorized means then they are committing a data breach. People share and view that information without the victim’s permission. Hackers target the vulnerabilities of the victim which makes the data breaching easier. There are some vulnerabilities targeted by the hackers like:
- Third party access can play an important role in data breaching. They can easily make way into your system, no matter how secured your data is.
- There are many authentication steps used for protecting our systems but there are various malwares which can easily pass through them. These systems are the compromised assets.
- Payment cards frauds are really common these days. Card skimmers are attached to ATMs for stealing data whenever the card is swiped.
- Stolen credentials are caused by scams like phishing and are a major security issue. If hackers have your credentials then it is not tough for them to access your bank accounts and online accounts.
Damage caused by data breach:
Data breach can cause damage to anyone, whether the victim is an individual, business or government organization.
- Individuals: Identity theft is a really probable crime if hackers have your personal information. Once they get all the important and required information and details about your bank accounts they can do fraud under your name. It is really difficult to fight cases when you are charged under something you didn’t even do.
- Government organizations: When it comes to government organizations we should know our nation is at stake. A data breach on government organizations means leaking nation’s secret to foreign country’s organization. This can pose a major threat to the citizens of the victimized country.
- Business organizations: When any business organization becomes the victim of a data breach its reputation can be seriously harmed. Many reputed organizations like Yahoo and Target have been the victims of a data breach. Not just socially but this can affect your organization financially.
Preventing data breach:
There are some good ways of preventing data breach like
- Maintain high level encryption for sensitive information.
- Update the software as soon as the updates are available.
- Educate your employees about socially engineered attacks and security practices.
- Multiple factor authentication can help you build up a strong and layered security system for keeping your credentials safe.
Do’s and Dont’s after a data breach:
If you are a victim of data breaches then you can do or avoid doing the following things
- First of all do not panic at all. Although the situation will make you scared and anxious but this will only lead to impulsive and wrong decisions. Data breaches have become so common these days that you should prepare yourself for that. Always try to prevent it first but if that doesn’t happen and you still become the victim of data breach then stay calm and think of the possible solutions. Even better if you already make a plan for such situations beforehand.
- If your organization is facing a data breach then it is your moral duty to inform your employees about it rather than hiding it or paying any ransom to the hackers. It might be a possibility that they will take the ransom and still sell the information on the dark web or even worse, they won’t stop blackmailing you and tarnish the reputation of the organization.
- You should never misinform anyone about the breach who is trying to help you. Like in an organization whenever such a situation occurs assembling your team ad planning what to do next is a wise option. Gather people from the HR department, public relations, and legal team too.
- When you know a breach has occurred then try to know its extent like the data (name, bank details, email address etc.) involved and the number of compromised records.
- Know how was your data exposed and cut the source off, both via your network and physically. If an app vulnerability is a reason then take it offline. After this implement your prepared plan.
- Notify the affected individuals if really important. Also, make sure to inform senior authorities within 72 hours of being aware of the breach.
- If the situation is under your control then assess the damage and work out if you need to inform the superior authority or not. You should inform them if the breach poses a high risk on any individual or risks the rights and freedom of any living person.