Data breaches have become a common occurrence in every industry now. It would be hard to find a company that has not been susceptible to a data breach. Looking at the past incidents, we have seen that in 2013, Yahoo experienced a major data breach that put the sensitive information of more than 3 billion users at risk.
Over the past few years, other leading companies such as Adobe, eBay, Target, Home Depot, etc. have also suffered serious data breaches. When a data leakage occurs in a company, millions of users’ sensitive information is put in a compromising position. This shows almost every company can be susceptible to data leakage.
Many companies deploy monitoring solutions on the computers and/or install the best spy app for Android and iPhone devices to monitor employees’ activity as the majority of the data leaks are often associated with the employees.
Having said that, not all data breaches occur because of employees’ negative intentions or negligence. Let us go through some common reasons for data breaches in a company and also learn how to prevent them.
This comes as a no-brainer that weaker passwords are often considered the main reason behind data breaches. A study by Verizon reported that 48% of data leaks involved stolen passwords because they were weak. Now, these passwords were either too easy for anyone to guess or obtained from keylogging software or phishing attacks.
Companies can protect themselves from this problem by asking employees to enable two-factor authentication. This means no person cannot break into your system without also requiring to enter a code sent to their mobile number or any other device. The employee will be automatically alerted when someone attempts to enter into their system.
Sending Sensitive Emails Accidentally
It has also observed that most data leaks occur in a company due to employees’ carelessness and negligence. They send out sensitive information through emails by accident or publish important information online by mistake.
When the company’s confidential information is leaked online or sent to someone by mistake, they can easily gain access to it and use it against the company in the future. Employees should be provided specially organized training sessions where they are taught to never send out important emails to the wrong person.
Also, they need to be extremely careful while posting the company’s information online, either on the official website or social media accounts because this kind of error can destroy the company’s reputation within seconds and make customers lose confidence in it.
In other cases, data leaks occur due to malicious attacks that result in stealing the company’s confidential information. A person may have a vendetta against you or your company and he/she may go to any extent to obtain your company’s important data by entering into your system through any means.
After obtaining the data, they can blackmail you for a hefty ransom by promising you that they won’t release the information to the public once they receive the money. This situation refers to “ransomware” in which the hacker holds the company’s data hostage until he receives the money.
Therefore, companies need to protect themselves from malicious cyberattacks and ransomware that can result in major data leakage. They should also keep a keen eye on their business rivals and competitors.
Employees Leaking Company’s Data Intentionally
Employees intentionally leaking the company’s confidential data is considered a huge threat to the company. No employer would want a rotten employee working in their company, especially who has evil intent with regard to the company and is likely to sell its data to a third-party or business competitor for a good price.
To reduce the likelihood of employees leaking the company’s important information, all the employees should be trained on how to handle the company’s data. They should be given training on important areas such as email use, careless talk, data protection obligations, and data confidentiality outside of the workplace.
Monitoring employees’ activity during office hours with the help of a monitoring solution can help the companies identify where the data leaks are occurring. For instance, they can monitor the employees’ web browsing activity by deploying an undetectable spy app for Android or iPhone (depending on the type of platform they are using at work) and find out whether or not they are breaching the company’s policies.
Also, you need to inform your employees beforehand that their activity will be constantly monitored throughout office hours because it helps avoid breaching employees’ privacy rights. Companies monitoring employees’ activity is completely legal and obligatory to protect the company’s data.
Loss of Paperwork
We cannot deny the fact that human error can be a major reason for a data breach. You would be surprised to know that sometimes it doesn’t even take for someone to log onto a computer for the data leak to take place. Data leakage can also occur in a rather conventional way and that is through the loss of paperwork.
Some employees have a habit of writing down even minute detail on a piece of paper and that detail can hold utmost importance to the company. Imagine what could happen if they lose that piece of paper. Any person, who can also happen to a hacker, can get hold of the paper, scan it, and then upload it on the internet in a matter of minutes, making it available for the public.
To prevent your company from loss of paperback that may result in data theft, you need to train your employees to keep the important documents in safe custody.